So this is the fourth review in a series related to Ninja Sex Party, you can check out the others here, here and here. So I will dispense with a long winded introduction needless to say however, NSP are a comedy band and are made up of a man in a unitard called Dan and a man in a ninja costume called Brian. This review will discuss ‘Under the Covers’ an album which marks a change for Ninja Sex Party, whereas the previous albums had been made up of original tracks and were funny, Under the Covers is more serious and is made up of covers of songs from the 1970’s and 1980’s. It also marks the introduction of the band ‘Tupper Ware Remix Party’ as their backup band, on the previous albums Brian Wecht (Ninja Brian) had dealt with all the instruments.
‘Take On Me’ is a cover of a song by the same name by the band A-ha and you can hear the original here. Obviously the original is a classic, I doubt anyone hasn’t heard it and obviously everyone knows the music video which blended animated/drawn sections with live sections in a really interesting and unique way. For Ninja Sex Party to tackle this track on their cover album and homage to some of the best tracks of the 70’s and 80’s they must have been confident they could so something good with it and I don’t think they disappoint. It opens much the same as the original but with a slightly heavier bass and guitar accompaniment, I think it does the familiar tune justice and gives NSP their own spin on it. Danny has a very particular vocal range that compliments songs with high notes and I think this song serves those vocals really well, I didn’t listen to it and think that the cover was bad, in fact it more than did justice to the original which is what you want from a cover. One thing that’s good about this cover album is exemplified in this track, it gives Danny a chance to just sing and show off his talents rather than also focusing on being funny.
‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ is a cover of a song by the same name by the band Tears for Fears and you can hear the original here. This in my opinion is the best cover on the album, not only do I love the original but again NSP really put their own spin on it. Tupper Ware Remix Party (TWRP) really know how to play and provide perfect backup to Danny singing the classic Tears for Fears track. As I mentioned Danny does well with songs with high parts and this song gives him that. Like the previous track they’ve taken the basic song they’re covering and built on it, and they always manage to give us something that’s worth listening to on its own merits. I love to listen to their cover of this track in particular when I’m travelling to and from college.
‘Subdivisions’ is a cover of a song by the same name by the band Rush and you can hear the original here. This is the first of two rush covers on this NSP album and it gave me just the excuse to go listen to Rush that I didn’t know I’d been looking for. I like subdivisions, it’s not my favourite track by the band in question but NSP’s cover really does a good job of changing my mind. They manage to do the song but still make it sound like something distinctly Ninja Sex Party. Subdivisions is good and the sound and style of the original track already sounds like things NSP have done in the past so they didn’t need to stretch themselves too much.
‘Your Love’ is a cover of a song by the same name by the band The Outfield and you can hear the original here. The original track has such a sweet opening riff and I was interested to see what NSP did with it, they actually muted the track a little to let Danny’s voice ring clear as he belted out the opening lines, immediately setting it apart from the original. Christ though I forgot how good the original track was, and NSP did a good job, I think this cover isn’t quite as good as the original but it does a great job nonetheless. I did like the focus on Danny’s voice on this track, and again its another track that suits his vocal range really well. Standing on its own though I think this is a really good song and I’d listen to it again.
‘Misunderstanding’ is a cover of a song by the same name by the band Genesis and you can hear the original here. The original is a nice simple track and a good choice from Genesis, Ninja Sex Party’s cover changes things very little, things are just a little big bigger, it just feels a little bit different, more energy and of course Danny’s voice fits the song like a glove.
‘Rock With You’ is a cover of a song by the same name by Michael Jackson and you can hear the original here. I wondered how Danny’s voice would stack up against Michael Jackson’s, after all no one sounds like Michael. But the funky beat of the original is most definitely in the style that NSP do most often so I was sure it’d still sound good. They certainly keep the funky beat, and Danny certainly sings well enough, his voice doesn’t sound like Michael’s as I’d guessed, instead he sings it like himself and that’s good enough for me. I like this cover, it’s different from the original but is clearly inspired greatly by it. I especially liked the electronic sections towards the end which I felt certainly grabbed your attention.
‘Madrigal’ is a cover of a song by the same name by the band Rush and you can hear the original here. Now Madrigal is a rush song I really like so I was looking forward to hearing what NSP did with it, and I think they did a really good job, the original song is simple whereas a lot of Ninja Sex Party’s tracks are flashy and put on a show for the ears but I think they handle this one really well. They do change things up a bit but it’s good, and the entire song sounds really good coming from Danny, it sounds like the kind of thing he usually sings about. In essence I feel they really made this song their own and I think its up there as one of my personal favourites on the album.
‘The Burning Down’ is a cover of a song by the same name by the band King’s X and you can hear the original here. Was one of the few tracks where I’d never heard the cover, and I liked the song but perhaps because I had no prior knowledge of it, I preferred the cover. That’ not to say however that the cover wasn’t good on its own merits.
‘Jump’ is a cover of a song by the same name by the band Van Halen and you can hear the original here. Is another genuine classic and a well known song, so when listening to the cover you need to take off your nostalgia filter and enjoy it on its own because Ninja Sex Party’s cover more than does justice to the original, in fact I really liked it, it’s another of my personal favourites on the album. I think the vocals are particularly good with Danny’s voice. I think my only problem with this song in fact it that my fiancee had the cover as her ringtone for months so I was woken up by this cheery and energetic tune every morning.
‘We Close Our Eyes’ is a cover of a song by the same name by the band Oingo Boingo and you can hear the original here. Both start off with a percussive intro, although they go about it slightly differently. Now I’m more familiar with weird Science by this band but I like this song as well and I could kind of tell just listening to it that it’s a song that would suit Danny’s singing really well. NSP put a groovy kind swing to this track that makes the song their own, and I think that it goes really well. Their version is also more upbeat and has more energy which you can really get behind.
‘The Last Unicorn’ is a cover of a song by the same name by the band America and you can hear the original here. Both of these tracks, the original and the cover are melancholic and slow, they deal with a touching subject and I think both are great tracks, the original obviously has harmonies between the members which give it an edge in some regards but there’s something haunting about the NSP cover where it’s just Danny, it speaks to the isolation that references. Its honestly just a touching and faithful cover of a great song, and I can’t really say which I prefer but I loved listening to both. I will say I liked the synth edge that the NSP cover had, it gave the whole song a more ethereal quality which I felt gave the song something.
‘Wish You Were Here’ is a cover of a song by the same name by the band Pink Floyd and you can hear the original here. The original has a really slow build to it, soft acoustic strings plucked to perfection, it’s more than a minute before the singing kicks in. The NSP cover honours that slow build, and makes for another faithful cover that still manages to retain a sense of Ninja Sex Party’s identity. I really loved their cover in fact, it’s exactly the type of thing that shows off just how talented they are, when they’re not talking about dicks and poop. Danny especially pulled this one out of nowhere and of course he was backed up perfectly by TWRP and Ninja Brian.
And that’s what I have to say about the fourth album ‘Under the Covers’ by the band Ninja Sex party and if you want to get your own copy then you can buy it here on Bandcamp and if you want to keep up with the latest from NSP then check them out on Facebook, Twitter and on their personal website. Also if you want to see the music videos for the various NSP tracks as well as behind the scenes stuff then check out their YouTube channel.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org