Several days ago, a fucking piano fell on me. From a great height! I've been in a coma since, but I just woke up. Like, right before I started writing this review. Something seems different. Who died? I thought that "world funeral" was just the title of a Marduk record. The skies are suffused with a trembling, blanched gloom. I don't know what happened while I was out, but these misgivings are bumming ME out. That cannot stand, as I'm extremely, extremely selfish. All I can do is fence off the news (it's always depressing) and focus on stuff that makes my heart go pitter-patter. Take music, for instance.
Twelve Foot Ninja is an Australian hard rock band that fuses djent riffs with every other genre under the sun. If I had to describe their sound, I would say...imagine a djentrified Faith No More. Look, I'm not a fan of "the djent." It's a stupid term, for one. I don't even listen to Meshuggah, although I do enjoy most of 1995's Destroy Erase Improve. Twelve Foot Ninja manages to write songs strong enough to withstand any toxic elements. And I should note that the djent-y elements are minor. You will never confuse "Oxygen" or "Invincible" with a Veil of Maya tune. Again, the songwriting is too fucking good. The vocal melodies latch onto your scrotal pouch, the arrangements know when to ebb and I'm craving Golden Grahams.
2016's Outlier is their second full-length recording. Unfortunately, there was a four-year gap between this set and their perfect debut, 2012's Silent Machine. Yes, perfect (in my opinion blah, blah). That's the one thing working against Outlier. As much as I wanted it to, it doesn't - and possibly couldn't - equiponderate its predecessor. Er, match up to its predecessor. I should have typed that instead. Seriously, Silent Machine is imbued with grand slams. Outlier is solid, and that's underselling it. It's been on repeat in my bedroom since it arrived via whore and carriage. But I have my nitpicks. Chief among them, this long player isn't long enough! A little over 38 minutes? After four years? An election season has come and gone in the time that--OHHHH. I know who died now.
Anyway, Outlier isn't filling. I'm left wanting more, and not in the desired way. This is less of a nitpick, but the second half of the album isn't as habit-forming as the first half. It could simply be my shoddy ears, I suppose. Songs such as "Post Mortem" and "Monsoon," while entirely listenable, don't kickstart my heart. Skydive naked from an aeroplane. Or a lady with a body from outer space. My heart, my heart. Kickstart my heart. "Sick" and "Oxygen" are the real winners, and those are the ones you should sample. Expect smooth harmonies. Hell, even the second half of Outlier contains parts I love. The unpredictable midsection of "Monsoon." The emotive (not to be confused with emo) chorus of "Adios." It's a beguiling collection of sounds, is what I'm saying.
Check out their music videos. They're pretty damn funny. It's located on Silent Machine, but you must hear "Mother Sky." Listen to me. Listen! You must hear "Mother Sky." Argh, I don't trust you. Click HERE.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 10:46 AM