You really can’t sleep in this writing gig, or the whole world slips past you without you even realising. Remember the review we did for the Squid Ninjaz single? That was only a couple of weeks ago and at the time no one seemed to know when the album was going to be released.

Then it arrived in the post with a release date of 7 December on the PR blurb, so I thought I’d leave it a little while before getting the review online. Then, more thanks to Twatter than anything else, I saw that it has already been released and we’d completely missed it. Bollocks.

It’s all good though; things coming out earlier can only be a good thing for the artists involved, I guess.. Anyway enough of all that, let’s talk about the arrival of the Ninjaz album, “Revenge of the Blowfish“. ‘More of the same’ is the general idea here and luckily for us, ‘the same’ in this case is some of the tightest & moodiest hip hop to come out of Wales this year.

The album kicks off with what I said might be the biggest posse cut history, with no less than 17 emcees! (Although I did remember the track by Insight called “Seventeen MCs“, in which he does every ‘emcee’ himself… but it’s not a competition. ) Here is the list again in case you missed it last time: Joe Blow, Pergyl, Cesto, Cervantis, Skamma, Ral Duke, Joe Dirt, JDS, Mudmowth, 4Dee, Ruffstylz, Mr Bang On, King Grub, Lee Scott, Bill Shakes, Junior Disprol and Chud Jackson. Fucking good it is too. There are some verses that stand out more - Mudmowth, Ral Duke and Joe Dirt to name a few - but all the cats involved are of a high calibre and the beat is suitably menacing.

A lot of the tunes have that sinister edge to them, helping to create a real brooding atmosphere. This is in pretty stark contrast to the dope Metabeats’ album, “Metaphysical“, that was released in 2007 and featured many of the Ninjaz, but definitely had a happier vibe. This album isn’t dreary by any means, or at least not to the point where it becomes tiresome. If anything, that rawness brings a little something extra to the verses being laced. Other notable tracks include “Mimic“, “Middle Finger Music“, which is a big ‘fuck you’ in the direction of the wack; “Kush115“, which brings possibly the bounciest beat of all to the proceedings; and “RType“, which kinda reminded me of a sort of cross between Dark Circle and early Task Force stuff.

I’m also going to big up the skit, “Blotterz“, cos it uses a Fear and Loathing sample, specifically the scene where Johnny Depp has a vision of Christina Ricci’s character, Lucy, running to the police and telling them they have plied her with acid. Thompson isn’t used nearly enough in sampling, considering the amount of crazy soundbites he left us and so hats off to the Barry boys for bringing him out of the cold (In fact, massive props to Ral Duke for using that name)

As I mentioned at the start of the review, the album is already out and it should be put on all your wishlists. For those out there who thought the pinnacle of Welsh hip hop was Goldie Looking Chain and their half-arsed comedy raps, you have a whole world to discover and this is a damn good place to start. You can grab yourselves a copy from Suspect Packages. Reviewed by Stlye43


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