Playing music quickly becomes a serious business endeavor for most musicians. And in this faster and faster world of cataloging and consuming, its possible for a band to become cynical to a life of playing music. So its nice, to see a band like Shinobi Ninja, being in the scene for the better part of 7+ years, sitting on this little pile of labels and cliches saying, “Hey thats cool man, you do what you gotta do, but it ain’t really gonna affect us.” While the band has operated for the better part of a decade, you hear audio blurbs like “Brooklyn Craze” and realize they never once miss an opportunity to have fun with their music, their fans or themselves.
Just a week after their album release show at the Knitting Factory, Shinobi Ninja was seen opening for Saigon Kick at the Studio at Webster Hall studio, showcasing some hits from their new album, Bless Up. A mixing bowl of NYC genres, Shinobi Ninja’s biggest strength has always been their 100% movement when playing live, spastically throwing arms and legs out towards the crowd like free t-shirts at an EDM festival. Dual singers Dave Doobie and BabyG barely take time out to breathe, much less bother with the slow tunes, tread-milling high-energy rock rap punches one right after the other. Doobie forming the outer arms of a tornado of movement forever testing the limits of a stage before ignoring them to hang with the crowd during the chorus of ‘Bang Bang.” Meanwhile BabyG hangs resolute centerstage, an eye in a storm of sweat, steadily climbing bars through her verses as her body follows the flow instinctively.
And every lyric and rhyme gets thrown all the farther on a sea of noise exploding outwards from a bassist, guitarist and drums trio, mixed alongside their DJ who all build a foundation strong enough to survive the night. Alienlex Alex and Mike Machinist, playing bass and guitar respectively, drive each song forward like a military march, flinging hair as fast as their fingers flick strings.
All five members of the band worked very hard to create this uniquely casual atmosphere between the majority of their songs, despite the energy they bring, they mange to always remain relaxed, not frantic. Regardless of whatever venue they play, listening to them perform always brings you back to this environment of a hazy Saturday afternoon, out on the streets of Brooklyn where their music would form the background of the day. Mimicking low-grade 90’s rock with songs like “Funday” and “Programmable Animal” creates this soundtrack reliving the urban world they’ve all grown up in, reaching for a mindset that may only exist whenever their songs play.
Shinobi Ninja is a ball of noise flying out of Brooklyn at breakneck speeds, laughing all the way. Just back from SXSW, it seem sunlikely that they plan to slow down anytime soon.
Article: Earl Maldoun