GIG REVIEW: TWELVE FOOT NINJA (Manning Bar, March 2017)
BAND: Twelve Foot Ninja VENUE: Manning Bar DATE: 10th March, 2017 A few weeks back I got my hands on some tasty vinyl from Twelve Foot Ninja, and last night I finally managed to cop these guys live on the second last night of their massive Australian 'Sick' tour - and hot damn it was a doozy.
The evening kicks off with some syncopated goodness courtesy of locals Hemina, before giving way to some old-school Mr Bungle vibes from Wollongong crazies Troldhaugen. This four-piece number may not be reinventing the experimental wheel, but between their lead singer's bald cap, some pretty tight fluctuations and a surprising cover of The Offspring's 'Original Prankster' (which I am simultaneously proud and mortified to admit knowing every word) - it's hard not to get caught up in the zany onstage antics, and they bring the crowd to life ahead of the main event.
With their 'Outlier' artwork brandished at the back, Twelve Foot Ninja eventually erupt onto stage, and what follows can only be described with three words: utter musical mayhem. Their recordings effectively capture their signature fusion sound, but it's up on stage bathed in laser lights where they go next level - these guys have more energy than a kid's first sugar high and they didn't come here to play Manning Bar, they came to burn it to the ground with some blazing riffs and electrifying grooves.
The Melbourne boys kick off their set with some newer tracks like the hefty 'Invincible' and the Eastern-tinged 'Collateral', but also treat us to some earlier tunes from their debut 2012 album 'Silent Machine', including crowd favourites 'Coming For You' and 'Kingdom'.
Soaring over the chugs and tight instrumentals, frontman Kin Etik just doesn't stop - this is a man who can go from doom to croon in a heartbeat, and he has no trouble whipping the crowd up into a sweaty, fist-pumping frenzy. The band churn through their set list, before finally busting out the tour namesake single 'Sick' and aptly closing with 'Adios', leaving the crowd swooning with a sea of devil-horns and one solitary lighter lit in the air.
It's a relentless wave of huge sounds from a band that on paper shouldn't work (a metal, Latin, djent, you-name-it genre-bending explosion) - but with a brutal blend of charisma and sheer talent, Twelve Foot Ninja put up a night to remember and I dare you not to get on board after you see them live.
BY TIANA SPETER