Ninja Gun - Roman Nose [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)

Ninja Gun

Roman Nose [12-inch] (2011)


So when I found out about Ninja Gun having new songs come out this year, I was more than excited over this. Restless Rubes is always on constant rotation and I needed some new material. Finally, they released Roman Nose. So how is it? Pretty good, but if you're looking for straightforward country rock on this, it's not quite like that. The band shows off how their sound can go beyond that. They proved it somewhat with Restless Rubes, but more so here.

The first track, "That's Not What I Heard", starts off with some serious political talk with Johnathan Coody and his guitar talking about "captains of industry steering our ship into troubled seas and telling us some lies. Telling them they're true and that you might believe." And then all of a sudden, you get this nice little Latin-style music that you'd hear when you're relaxing on a beach in Mexico. It's quite heavy-handed on corporate manipulation, but with such a nice little jam you forget it's a serious song. It's pretty brilliant. Probably their most pop-sounding song they've done so far.

The second track is "Hot Rain". This honestly has to be my all-time favorite song of theirs now, and this is pretty much the one song on here that is what you'd expect from Ninja Gun. And the lyrics are very moving. "Deliver me to the hot rain. Find someone to be again in a town that asks no questions. And fortunes to smile easily for the ones that claim to see in a town that has no answers." The song pretty much makes me think about when I grew up in a small town.

The third track is "Lepers in Love". With this one it's a nice little waltz with a mandolin playing at the beginning. Then you get to a nice rock-sound chorus. It's pretty much a nice little breakup song.

Closing out things is the title track, "Roman Nose". It loses the electric guitar rock from the last two tracks. It's slower and quite possibly the saddest-sounding song they've done. Coody's vocals are exceptionally beautiful on this one.

With this, Ninja Gun shows how they can expand their sound and their songwriting in the storytelling tradition with heavy-handed themes; all the while, they're still maintaining their punk roots.