The Ginger Ninjas
In these times of pollution and global warming, it’s hard not to like a band like The Ginger Ni
njas. Not necessarily because of what they say in their songs, but because of what they do on tour. They’re the first rock and roll band to tour on bicycles without the use of any gas-powered vehicles. Not only that, but they also use bicycles on stage to provide power for their speakers. This originally started as a one-time tour concept, but it is now standard practice for the band and they let audience members take turns on the bikes when they play concerts. Not only is that an interesting way of going green, but it promotes exercise in the process. Unfortunately, all the aerosol deodorant and air freshener that gets sprayed around all these sweaty concert goers negates all the pollution they’re trying to prevent.
Ignoring my tangential wisecracking, the band not only sets a good example, but they also have a really stellar sound. The Ginger Ninjas could most accurately be described as a folksy, funky, psychedelic band (seems like more and more psychedelia has been coming our way these days). There is also a definite influence of Latino culture, most notable in the occasional Spanish lyrics and the guitar playing. Their album The Pleasant Revolution only has about five full-length songs out of a total of eight tracks, but they are so strong collectively that you still feel satisfied after everything is all said and done.
Although, of all the tracks, “Dick Cheney” sticks out as being quite… unique. Not better or worse, just unique. It’s quite an experience just in itself since it’s so strange and over the top. The constant repetition of Dick Cheney’s name as the chorus and then slowly altering “Cheney” to “chain me” strikes me as being super cheesy. That and the theme of the song being that Dick Cheney needs more love. I guess maybe to get that puss off of his face? The line “I wanna love him like only a mother can love him. I wanna say coochie coochie coochie coo, my little Dicky poo,” makes me think that The Ginger Ninjas intended this song to be at least somewhat ridiculous. Especially since during the music video, the vocalist, a hippie-looking guy, is wearing a black and white dress and cuddling a baby with Dick Cheney’s head plastered onto it. Oh man, I can look forward to some strange nightmares when I go to sleep tonight. But the track still makes for a fun listen and you can’t help but smile if not laugh at how the subject matter is so weirdly treated.
The rest of the album is a little more normal than that. “Total Believer,” for example, is a really interesting song that is a mish mash of all sorts of mellow, groovy, psychedelic styles that make for a nice, pleasant tune. I already mentioned the funk and the Latino influences, but there is also a definite reggae vibe that you can feel in the rhythmic pacing of the song and the simplistic, almost percussive strum of the guitars. “Stuck on Earth” has much more folk and roots music in its sound and has an alternative rock kinda sound going for it as well. It reminds me of Wilco to a certain degree.
In fact, those of you who are fans of Wilco will most definitely enjoy the Ginger Ninjas. I suggest you support them if not for their excellent music then for their innovative approach to environmental conservation. Even if it does not seem that physical copies of The Pleasant Revolution are available, at least as far as I can tell, a downloadable copy is available via at their MySpace page. Additionally, you can purchase their other albums at CD Baby or iTunes.
The Ginger Ninjas – Total Believer
The Ginger Ninjas – Dick Cheney