Don your blackest stealth gear and launch your shuriken to the sky. Twelve Foot Ninja have thrown everything at the wall with their debut album, and surprisingly everything sticks.
Faith No More comparisons are inevitable, but it is truly amazing that the eclectic fusion of djent, Samba, bossanova, reggae, funk and jazz still comes off as unique and inspired as if King For A Day… hadn’t set the blueprint seventeen years earlier. Nothing feels forced or over-reaching with Kin Etick’s versatile vocal delivery not only channelling a certain Mr Patton, but oft times coming damn close to matching his talent.
The opening cut ‘Coming for You’ acts as an overview of the eclectic yet simply catchy and effective song writing displayed throughout Silent Machine; in a little over three minutes all the versatility, talent and fun that the band exudes can be felt (the film-clip is a must see!). Electronic bleeps and blips add extra texture to the canvas in the Oriental-flavoured ‘Kingdom’; ‘Rogue’ is Periphery siphoned through an Angelo Badalamenti film score, whilst ‘Myth of Progress’ strokes the senses with its dark seduction.
‘Mother Sky’, ‘Shuriken’ and the insanely addictive ‘Liberation’ stake their claim as the album highlights, all oozing goodness with gorgeous vocal layering and ear-worm choruses. But just to prove the album isn’t front-loaded, it closes with two of its sweetest jams in the playful ‘Ain’t That a Bitch’ and the otherworldly ‘Luna’ comforting like a lullaby as the lyrics ‘Am I dreaming you, or are you dreaming me?’ linger long after the outro ends.
While there is an overwhelming amount of successful elements to Silent Machine, the song ‘Vanguard’ feels a little under-cooked and ends with some underwhelming riffs, whilst ‘Deluge’ also suffers a similar fate with some bland riffs making for a less memorable exercise, yet these are minor quibbles and it would be insane to loftily expect perfection on a debut.
Twelve Foot Ninja have delivered a world class album of mostly slick and polished tunes that will no doubt be devoured by an ever-growing fan base. Four highly talented musicians plus one gifted vocalist equals another major success in the Australian heavy music scene and it seems there is nothing that will silence this machine.
1. Coming for You
3. Mother Sky
8. Silent Machine
10. Myth of Progress
11. Ain’t That a Bitch