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What is that? A new candy or power bar? Well, it’s something of a musical version of that. Whatcha-Wanna-Gotta-Getcha is the title of the new Random Ninjas EP by the band that makes a name for itself by bringing hard-to-categorize sounds to the ears of unsuspecting listeners—ninja style. This new 5 song EP is not for those in the mood for some boring, monotone, mono-genre music where you can’t tell where one song ends and the next one begins. For those of us tired of the same old same and looking for a little more spice and originality in music, this new recording is definitely a breath of fresh air.

Whatcha-Wanna-Gotta-Getcha is planned for release sometime in May 2009, and the first song, Madness, is already available for a full listen on their My Space. This particular piece is able to transition from slow to fast and from hard to soft in the blink of an eye while staying integrated at the same time. Its hyperactive pace captures the essence of this song’s lyrics about an obsessive addiction to the game Scrabble while showing off the strength and agility of the lead vocalist Soozanna and the back up vocals of bassist Agent Katchu.

Tomorrow is an inspirational piece about not letting old dreams die, and the overall ambience of the piece is hopeful. Musically, it is probably the easiest listen for cross-over fans of other genres, but it sticks out from the crowd because it has a wonderfully catchy drum track that sounds electronic but is actually organically recorded, a testament to the skill of their drummer, Caliginous Ninja.

Yellow Number 5 starts out with something totally unexpected in an American heavy rock band—a taiko drum played by the group’s taiko drummer, The Yusuke. This initial percussion sounds like a traditional Chinese dance beat that is followed by thoroughly surprising yet pleasant smooth jazzy guitars courtesy of lead guitarist Full Metal Ninja. It’s a danceable incorporation of what were once disparate sounds.

Virus is reminiscent of a late night drive in the city, aurally highlighting the possibility that jazz grooviness can indeed blend with heavy metal guitars.  Lyrically, it cleverly captures the real fears of our modern society threatened with new diseases, pandemics and biological warfare while at the same time maintaining a metaphorical mood which allows for multiple interpretations.

Breakaway allows you to feel the full force and range of lead singer, Soozanna, as you hear her volubly climbing those scales, and just when you expect her to drop the note, she takes it to the top with an attack deserving of the ninja name. Lyrically, the song captures the cold and harsh reality that hits when you first take that step out to face things on your own.

Random Ninjas will be hitting SOCAL ROCK REVOLUTION 2009, a music festival sponsored by KROQ and held at the Irvine Lake. There’s no news that the new EP will be available there, but fans have got their fingers crossed! www.randomninjas.com

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