Ninjaspy – Pi Nature, by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs

Line up:
Joel Parent – lead vocals, guitar
Tim Parent – bass guitar, back-up vocals
Adam Parent – drums, back-up vocals

In much the same way that Skindred have shot to fame with their own unique blend, so do Ninjaspy ignore any sort of convention and instead seem to have an enviable ear for stuff that just goes together. They call it ‘skankore’ – if they’d wanted to they could have stuck genius in there somewhere.

Vancouver-born, Ninjaspy consists of just three members – a surprising revelation given the depth of sound they achieve. Pub quiz fact – they’re also all brothers. And damn fine musicians. Whilst all three contribute to vocals in some way, it has to be said that frontman Joel Parent has a cord-straining vocal power – moving from reggae style singing to metalcore melodies and even touches of the harder stuff with unnerving ease.

You can hear a System Of A Down influence throughout Pi Nature – such as in the whisper to a roar breakdown of tasty ska number ‘Evolution Of The Skid’, and high-pitched-almost maniacal start to ‘Defecating On What’s Left Of Our Child.’ But then Pi Nature has boiled down a Titanic-sized boatload of elements into a pure 12-track proof of Ninjaspy’s musical capabilities, encapsulating everything from Sikth-style time changes, high-speed tapping and catchy ska riffs to non-musical interludes of spoken word and creepy kid sounds.

Track names like ‘Out Of Tampons’, which may bring a smile to your face, almost belie the substance behind many of the band’s lyrics, which resonate with a not-always-easy-to-swallow honesty. Not to mention sometimes going right over your head on first listen.

Not that that’s any sort of real concern – having pressed play it’s very unlikely that you’ll only listen to Ninjaspy once. Certainly you’d be a fool not to point your ears in the direction of reassuringly eccentric ‘Skaingkh (The Skank), which is just a taste of the band’s upcoming No Kata EP. Start warming up your legs and necks now.

Released: 2007
Label: Self-released
3.5/5

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