Posts Tagged ‘Shinobi Ninja’


Brooklyn’s own SHINOBI NINJA are just about to drop their best album to date. So, you should be aware that this Friday “Bless Up” will arrive a powerhouse of sound and songwriting. Few bands in NYC are at the level the Ninja’s are at. And I don’t say that due to the fact that over the past four years we have become good friends and have shared art, music, respect and bounced ideas off of each other, that is just a bonus. This would be a band I would migrate toward regardless. Watching artists grow and really corner what they want to represent is really a beautiful thing. And “Bless Up” is just that “thing”. Every song on this record could be a single, it’s like everybody in the band within their vast many roles have spit-shined what they do best and brought it to the table like it was the last supper. It’s Rock (Subcon), It’s Pop (Programmable Animal), Alternative (Funday), Trippy (Bending Spoons)…it’s a wonderful melting pot of everything you’d want in those styles. The songwriting is so fine-tuned that it’s hard to find a hole in the album to pick apart because it is that good. You can hear components of classic Incubus, Faith No More and 311 weaved through some of the compositions but saying that doesn’t take away from the freshness and originality that SHINOBI NINJA possess. The turntables are sickening, the rhythm section is tight and thunderous, the guitars are chunky, nimble and fun and the dual vocal strikes from Duke Sims and Baby G have never sounded better.

This is the kind of record you’ll spin a few times in a row and roll down those windows burnin’ up the highway. It’s a good time and it’s meaningful. Through clever marketing with videos, merch and a powerful live show these Ninja’s prove that as a unit of like minded people with drive and a multitude of talents that anything is possible. It’s hard not to get caught in this vortex, if you don’t know you will. “This is the right direction, the right direction…”  Minus the two fun little interludes you’ve got nine rock solid songs that are begging to be accepted by a multitude of formats. It’s a great record, no BS.


Last Tuesday Night I popped over to Littlefield in Brooklyn for CMJ and to see my buds in Shinobi Ninja rock the house. I headed in fairly early, as I wanted to check out some other bands and do a little chatting and networking.

Now, Littlefield is a modest sized venue and it was CMJ so I thought maybe I’d be heading into a packed house. That however was not the case; it was a pretty quiet night, maybe because it was a Tuesday? Who can really say anymore with the way the world of music has changed so much. I remember when some 10 plus years ago CMJ would bring lines of people wrapped around venues trying to get in.

My choice to arrive a bit earlier paid off because I had the opportunity to catch a band called The Feed, a 3-piece (at least they were this night, sans bass player) all the way from St. Louis here to play for CMJ. They were fantastic and really gave it everything although they played to a handful of people. But that’s the way to do it. ALWAYS bring it.

I bumped into drummer, Kevin Bowers afterward and we talked a bit, exchanged some info and CDs, I told them about Music-Survival-Guide and mentioned I may review their record Outsider that I had just been handed. They seemed excited by the idea and I’m not really one to disappoint, so…here we go, let’s talk about Outsider.

The Feed - Outsider Album Cover

The Feed – Outsider Album Cover

Outsider opens with a brilliant piece of music called “Celestial Ceiling”. Right out of the gate the band gets you kinda moving. The musicianship is tight and clean which was also reflected in their live show. The album is a collection of 9 songs, which gives us the idea that the guys have somewhat of an adoration for the 60’s and 70’s without sounding dated. The whole record is fresh and fun. Singer/Keyboardist extraordinaire David Grelle really cuts loose on this offering, especially on the track “My Blues” where he channels the late great Vince Guaraldi with those nimble piano fingers. I’m sure The Peanuts gang would get down to this jam if given the chance. The rest of the band is no slouch either boasting their obvious skills over the 33 some odd minutes.

Stand out tracks are “Rexy”, “Stella” and the above-mentioned “Celestial Ceiling”. After my third listen to the album I feel like my favorite songs keep changing, always the sign of a good record. My only regret is that I wasn’t familiar with the songs before catching them live. Next time guys!

So, I’m thinkin’ if you dig Hot Hot Heat, The Killers and The Bee Gees you may wanna take a bite out of The Feed. Excellent work gentlemen!