After stepping away from original content for the past 3 years to make cover albums, Ninja Sex Party’s long-awaited return was over on August 17th of this year. The 80s-influenced comedy band famous for absurdist songs like “Dinosaur Laser Fight,” and “6969” had shown serious musical strides before their brief break, so I was excited to hear what they could do next.
Off the bat, you can see the progress they made over the past 3 years. The album is full of high-energy, anthemic moments featuring more complex instrumentation, and even solos (something not really seen from them often). The diversity of sounds is higher, and overall, it’s just produced better.
Cool Patrol hits hard immediately, with the opening trio of “Cool Patrol,” “Orgy for One,” and “Danny Don’t You Know.” The prior is the essence of NSP. Their insane level of ridiculousness in this track takes the spotlight, but it also jams pretty hard with a sweet keyboard solo in the center. “Orgy for One” is another bombshell. The sheer irony in the scenario combined with their great wordplay, and Danny’s powerful voice steal the show once again. Finally, the latter of the three is maybe their most accessible to the public. The hilarity takes a step back, and instead they rock hard to create a feel-good anthem about self-acceptance, with a sound very reminiscent of bands like Van Halen.
Later on, tracks like “Release the Kraken,” and “First Date” are very powerful, driving forces in their own right. The harsh, powerful guitar chords combine well with the amusing premises to create an enjoyable experience. Though not as great as the openers, they’re pretty well done.
Sadly, the second half of the album has less to be excited about. “Smooth Talkin’” is alright upon a first glance, but later become a bit gimmicky, and isn’t interesting or energetic. While I appreciate the groovy instrumentation, the lyricism is kind of annoying and not clever. “Courtship of the Mermaid” continues with a Gaelic theme they’ve had before, which I’ve never been a fan of. The subtleness that comes with it is not something them or their in-your-face comedy are known for.
The main highlights of the second half are probably “Mansion Party,” and “Heart Boner;” a straight-forward funky song, and a pretty ridiculous love ballad. While “Mansion Party” isn’t incredibly creative or interesting with its lyricism, it’s a nice laid-back song to dance to. “Heart Boner,” on the other hand has a pretty unique and diverse instrumentation, full of orchestral sections. Along with that, there’s the extremely clever juxtaposition of the heart-felt message with the sexual language. It’s a pretty genius work of art.
In the end, they found their sound and improved upon it a great deal. They’ve shown that they can mix the masterful production with their unique brand of comedy, but the album lacked a little bit of creativity towards the end. Creativity in the realm of comedy music can be difficult, but if you want to stay at the top with those like Weird Al, you need to constantly push the boundaries. Instead, it was a little front-loaded, and inconsistent at parts.
Verdict – 7/10
Favorite Track(s): “Cool Patrol,” “Orgy for One,” “Danny Don’t You Know”
Least Favorite Track(s): “Romance Novel,” “Courtship of the Mermaid”
By Hunter Church