Twelve Foot Ninja
Outlier


3.0
good

Review

by Batareziz USER (38 Reviews)
December 15th, 2016 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Twelve Foot Ninja sliced the album in halves to mixed results.

As many music lovers might know the first album Silent Machine by Twelve Foot Ninja was an excellent record, which especially impressed with its eclecticism. Having mixed metal, funk, bossa nova and other music genres into a seemingly awkward but actually impressive cocktail, the Australians managed to set for themselves a high standard against which all their subsequent albums will be measured in one way or another. After a long wait and multiple concerts around the world in support of Silent Machine in August 2016 Twelve Foot Ninja released their next LP – Outlier.

The experimental path, chosen by the Australians for their sound, create certain limitations for the band, as in this case you need to simultaneously juggle a number of things that can be mutually exclusive. The main difficulty is to understand a route that you stick to following release of a successful album. If your only objective is high sales and new fans, then it is enough to simply repeat the effective recipe on the subsequent records, providing new helpings of what caught the listeners’ fancy in the first place. All that is required of the band is to release quality songs. Obviously, this approach only seems to be easy.

But what if there are also artistic ambitions" What if there is a desire to evolve, bringing something new to each album, something that not heard before (at least as part of their own sound)" In this case the path is a lot more difficult and entails a whole new bunch of questions. If the previous LPs already contained a mixture of genres, then what direction should they follow" Add more and more genres into the mix" Or concentrate on the sounds already employed, changing their ratio upward or downward" Or drop that eclecticism thing and turn to one genre" In the meantime, it would also be nice not to alienate the existing fanbase, but only to expand it. These are the questions I pondered on while listening to the new Twelve Foot Ninja album. It is possible that the same thoughts came to mind of the Australians as well. However, it seems they failed to come up with answers to these questions during recording of Outlier.

The album leaves an impression that the band, having thought about the abovementioned, decided to chase everything at once. Hence, there is a sense of mishmash of approach. As a result, the LP ended up being uneven, and the fans (or casual listeners) got the tracks of various interest. Tentatively Outlier can be divided into two even halves. The first half, consisting of 5 songs, is in the beginning of the album and includes the strongest set, with Invincible being a definite high point. Here Twelve Foot Ninja demonstrated their approach at best, something streamlined on previous releases: during listening to it there inadvertently creeps in an idea that the band managed to continue the successful streak they started with Silent Machine. However, then, maybe because of contemplations referred to earlier, maybe because they run out of steam, but the Australians seem to give up at mid-point and the next batch of songs feel weaker to what’s been before. This batch comprises the second half. There the focus gradually shifts towards the djent sound, and the remaining tracks begin to feel more monotonous and one-dimensional. Moreover, structurally the songs tend to follow the standard “verse-chorus-interlude-chorus”, and it becomes clearer why on the second half the interest starts to wane. By the end of the album (its duration only about 39 minutes) you just wait when it plays out. But don’t think that the songs are terrible. It’s just that the listener might expect something different from a Twelve Foot Ninja album.

Still despite the fact that the new LP turned out to be less successful compared to the previous album, it is too early to write the perky Australians off. Even if only the half of the songs are of high caliber, give this a chance, especially if you like Silent Machine or their EPs. It is possible that you may find something of interest on the second half of the CD, since everybody knows music taste is a personal matter.



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user ratings (115)
Chart.
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Asdfp277
December 15th 2016


16132 Comments


damn, new release :0

Batareziz
December 15th 2016


135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh yeah, it was released in late August-early September, depending on the country.

KevinKC
December 15th 2016


707 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You make the band sound like a bunch of egotistic ass who mixed a lot of genres and popular elements in order to be noticed and look cool but are so talentless and uninspired that they ran out of steam after two little releases of the same song copied/pasted twenty times. Or is it just me ?



Batareziz
December 15th 2016


135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh no, KevinKC, that wasn't my intent at all. I loved "Silent Machine" but was somewhat disappointed with this album, this is the message I tried to get across. I have nothing against genre mixing if it produces great results.

ChopSuey
December 15th 2016


2506 Comments


Lmao awesome summary

Batareziz
December 15th 2016


135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks, ChopSuey

Snide
December 16th 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tbh band can do no wrong. Although this is probably their weakest release.

Good review.

Batareziz
December 17th 2016


135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks, BlackMalachite. I agree with you there.

bananatossing
January 2nd 2017


481 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Good review. I think this record is more streamlined than the debut. You have a point on how their experimentation limits them, but I think they could do by expanding the more "progressive rock" ideas they showed here. More songs like "Oxygen", "Point Of You" or even "Manufacture Of Consent" for the next record would be awesome.



They also ditched the roots/reggae influence here, where it was more present in Silent Machine. They can also re-incorporate that style next time, it suits them well.

Batareziz
January 6th 2017


135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks, bananatossing. Yes, it's a good way to describe the record - streamlined. Also, you are right about the reggae influence, it is missing. I guess the next album should show clearer where the band wants to go musically.

BigPleb
February 8th 2017


51632 Comments


One Hand Killing rules hard.

Batareziz
February 12th 2017


135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yes it does!

KevinKC
May 13th 2017


707 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'm appreciating this album a lot more than I thought I would. I couldn't get into Silent machine.

Batareziz
May 17th 2017


135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That's great, KevinKC. Unfortunately, it was the other way around for me. But glad you enjoy it. Rock on!

Kalopsia
May 17th 2017


2009 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Point of You might be my favorite off this

KevinKC
May 22nd 2017


707 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'll have to relisten to Silent Machine to check what bothered me. I liked Smoke Bomb too. I wouldn't say that Outlier is exceptional or ambitious, but I think the general quality is already an accomplishment. It's very safe and most songs sound similar, but it never feels uninspired or hollow or forced... just very controlled. I suppose they needed to make an album like that which would just be ten examples of their stereotypical song.

VuvuzelaBzz
June 27th 2017


76 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The songs on this are all solid, but it lacks the variety of their previous releases. Collateral and Point of You are among their best tracks.

KevinKC
August 5th 2017


707 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I wish to correct myself and say that this album is exceptional in its overall quality. No dud, no filler, all the choruses are awesome, the heavy riffs, the melodic parts etc... everything flows perfectly. It's the perfect "all singles" album.

In this, it reminds me of "Between Here & Lost" by Love & Hate. An album that felt a bit unimpressive at first but that I listened to (and appreciated) a lot more than I thought I would.





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