Ginger Ninja

Excess Space

Written by: HES on 27/02/2014 21:03:40

First time I heard Ginger Ninja's "Wet Like A Dog" from their first album "Wicked Map" it instantly became the most played song of my summer of 2010. When Ginger Ninja came along riding on the wave of electronic Danish rock that Veto undeniably put into motion, the laid-back vocals and repetitive songwriting style was something new and I was for one excited about what this band could do. It took them more than 3 years to show us something more though, but this is it: "Excess Space".

The band had previously announced that they'd be taking this album into "90's rock". Turns out they had something very different in mind from my initial connotations of Soundgarden, Foo Fighters or Nirvana. Turns out they meant a toothless version of Incubus or funk rock with very little funk - and rock now that I think about it. Second single "Hole in The Head" is an example of absolutely stationary soundscape and songwriting. It's one of those songs you hear in the radio and don't notice until its chorus slowly starts to annoy you to the point of turning it down every time it comes on. First single "Williamsburg" otherwise got my expectations up, but it seems it's one of the few interesting songs instrumentally. The rest of the album is drenched in powerless choruses, flat guitar, lack of bass and way, way, way too many weak synths.

My Incubus-reference is most pronounced on the half-decent track "Secret Places", on which Henrik Hamilton on vocals actually does a fully decent job, ranging from low tones to a very nice falsetto. Why the band never manages to utilize his talents by challenging him a bit more melodically is a mystery to me. His voice for the most of the album is only characterised by its total anonymity. Both on the calypso-ish "All Forgotten", "Sunshine"-clone "Excess Space" and "Hole In The Head"-soundalike "One Plus One". I very rarely get annoyed by an album but this is such a frustration because of the lack of inspiration, happiness, sadness or any other source of exhilaration. I'll admit there are some brilliant small touches, like the opening of "Williamsburg", the playful "Sleep" or the opening guitar and bass in "Boxer In the Dark". For me at least these elements of "sunshine" drown in "Excess Space" hence making it a terribly tragicomic name for an album.

4

Download: Sleep, Williamsburg, Beaches
For the fans of: Incubus, Veto, Figurines
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.01.2014
Sony

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