Ninja Sex Party – “The Prophecy” Review

Story posted October 21, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by DJ Bauer

The kings of comedy rock are back again.

Ninja Sex Party, consisting of lead singer Dan Avidan and keyboardist Brian Wecht (better known by their on-stage personas Danny Sexbang and Ninja Brian), has been a pioneering force in musical comedy for the past 10 years.

Known for their songs about, well, ninjas, sex and parties, as well as plenty of other raunchy topics, Ninja Sex Party has perfected the art of melding their risqué humor with polished instrumentalism and clever songwriting, making for one of the most unique musical acts of the 21st century.

Their fifth original album and eighth album in total, “The Prophecy,” only builds on their reputation as masters of their craft.

While early pieces like “Dinosaur Laser Fight,” “Unicorn Wizard” and “Dragon Slayer” put the band’s knack for intelligent, laugh-out-loud innuendo on full display, Ninja Sex Party’s musical chops received a much-welcomed boost in 2016 with the addition of backing band Tupper Ware Remix Party (TWRP for short).

TWRP and NSP’s collaborations have proven fruitful, as recent hits like “Cool Patrol,” “First Date” and “Danny Don’t You Know” feature not only witty, hilarious lyrics but also crisp, talented musicianship that rivals the work of more serious artists.

This marriage especially shines on “The Prophecy,” which, instrumentally speaking, may be Ninja Sex Party’s finest work yet, as stinging guitars, atmospheric keyboards and Avidan’s glowing vocals all appear in heavy doses.

In terms of songwriting, “The Prophecy” doesn’t quite match the band’s previous release, 2018’s “Cool Patrol,” which is just overflowing with the clever comedy that makes Ninja Sex Party worth listening to. But “The Prophecy” comes close.

The obvious centerpiece is the 12-minute epic “The Mystic Crystal,” which introduces the record. Avidan, a self-proclaimed progressive rock fanatic, has infused his adoration for the genre into prior works, including 2015’s “6969,” a sexually-charged epic parodying Rush’s seminal suite “2112.”

Those prog roots shine here again, as “The Mystic Crystal” tells the tale of the band’s medieval journey to rescue the princess from the evil necromancer. Weaving through a variety of tempos and tones while maintaining NSP’s classic comedic writing, “The Mystic Crystal” may be their most ambitious project yet. It’s not perfect, but it shows just how far the band has come in the past decade, and it’s an enjoyable listen all the way through.

Another one of the record’s most brilliant moments is the closing “Thunder & Lightning,” a dark, heavy rocker with lyrics about Avidan’s, well, “globes of massive strength and size.” Considering the song’s bruising backing track and the suggestive lyrics, it honestly wouldn’t feel too out of place on any popular ‘80s hard-rock record. “Thunder & Lightning” proves that it’s possible to bang your head and laugh your guts out at the same time.

Ninja Sex Party also must be commended for their versatility. Like records past, “The Prophecy” depicts NSP as musical chameleons, jumping from the delicate, swirling balladry of “Wondering Tonight,” to the Queen-like gusto of “I Don’t Know What We’re Talking About (And I Haven’t for a While),” to the groovy swagger of “Welcome to My Parents’ House,” all threaded together by NSP’s signature deviant humor. They don’t miss a beat in their genre-swapping, a seriously impressive and underrated feat.

It’s worth mentioning that Ninja Sex Party’s songs are best enjoyed through their music videos, which expand upon the group’s off-the-wall comedy tenfold. Sometimes in live action and other times outsourced to animators, each and every one is sure to arise a chuckle somewhere that one may have missed in the audio-only format.

If there’s anything to criticize about “The Prophecy” or Ninja Sex Party in general, it’s that the music is not the most easily accessible for new listeners, and that’s because of the ridiculous, often childish humor. It’s also a valid criticism that Ninja Sex Party is a “one-trick pony,” as the entirety of their material is about fantasy and innuendo. There’s only so much you can write about humorous sexual encounters or slaying mythical beasts.

But at the end of the day, that’s kind of the point. Ninja Sex Party isn’t trying to be the next big musical innovators. They’re just having fun making music out of the most absurd content, and really, who’s to criticize that? They’ve made a 10-year career out of it. That’s longer than many of the most acclaimed musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries. To follow their passion for that long and experience so much growth in such a limited range of topics—it’s no small feat at all.

Despite the fact that Ninja Sex Party doesn’t intend to be musical trailblazers, they’re doing just that. It’s often difficult for such an off-color band to break into the mainstream, but they’ve made it work. “Cool Patrol” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard comedy chart, No. 2 on the Top Rock Albums chart and even No. 21 on the Billboard 200. If the past is any indication, “The Prophecy” should see similar numbers in its future.

In short, “The Prophecy,” while on the formulaic side, is genuinely well-performed and certainly funny enough to warrant relisten after relisten. It’s a welcome addition to the Ninja Sex Party discography and an exciting sign of things to come by the world’s top comedy rock group.

If you’re in need of a laugh and you want genuinely good music as accompaniment, there’s no better choice right now than Ninja Sex Party.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “Thunder & Lightning”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: N/A

 

DJ Bauer is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email djbauer1999@gmail.com.

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DJ Bauer

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

David “DJ” M. Bauer Jr. is a senior from Valencia, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is an editor, writer, producer, and play-by-play announcer for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include the Weekly NFL Game Picks series, Bauertology, and the NCAA Bubble Watch series. He is the co-host of the CommRadio talk show 4th & Long alongside Jeremy Ganes. Alongside Andrew Destin, Andrew Field and Zach Donaldson, he is one of CommRadio’s Penn State football insiders, a group of elite writers who cover Penn State football in depth during the 2020 season. He was also a production intern for the Frontier League’s Washington Wild Things baseball club. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).