INJURED NINJA are an Australian avant-garde experimental rock group that formed in Perth, Western Australia in 2007. Its members are Steven Aaron Hughes, Dominic Pearce, Jake Steele and Matthew Bairstow.
In 2008, INJURED NINJA performed a mixture of improvised and rehearsed gigs in art galleries and small performance spaces throughout Perth, releasing their debut EP ‘Circuitboard’ in October. The band became quickly notorious for their intense, loud and unpredictable performances. The band toured to Japan in early 2009 performing 11 shows across the country in less than two weeks and later performed their first tour to the east cost of Australia in December that year.
In January 2010 the band released a 12” split single with Perth act French Rockets, named ‘IDDQD’ which included a DVD with a video for each band’s songs, directed and produced by members of INJURED NINJA. These band members have since gone on to produce a series of music videos for many high profile Australian acts. The split single won the WAMi (West Australian Music Industry) Award for ‘Most Popular Single’ in May 2010.
Their debut album ‘INJURED NINJA vs. Skylazer’ was recorded in Perth in late 2010 with engineer Kieran Kenderessy. Due for release on Perth-based label Heartless Robot Productions in February 2011, it combines intense walls of guitar drone, with dance / break-beat and dub / reggae influences and captures the many facets of the INJURED NINJA live sound. The 11-track album will be packaged with a comic outlining the story of ‘vs. Skylazer’, drawn and designed by frequent INJURED NINJA art collaborator, Peter Long.
First single from the debut LP, ‘Golden Top Mountain Journey’ was released at a 7” single in October 2010 to highly positive reviews across the country and has received nationwide airplay. INJURED NINJA will be releasing a split 7” (‘Chrysopoeia’) on boutique Melbourne based label Aniseed Records in early 2011.
INJURED NINJA will be touring US in March / April 2011 and including an appearance at the 25th SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
Dominic Pearce - Bass, Vox, Backup Drums
Jake Steele - Keys, Laptop / Samples, Noise, Vox
Steven Hughes - Guitar, Vox
Matthew Bairstow - Drums, Evil Noises
Vs. Skylazer (2011, Heartless Robot Productions)
Singles and Eps
Circuitboard CD EP (2008, self released)
IDDQD (INJURED NINJA) 1x1 (French Rockets) split 12” / DVD (2010, Heartless Robot Productions)
Golden Top Mountain Journey 7” DL (2010, Heartless Robot Productions)
Chrysopoeia (INJURED NINJA) Fangs Of… split 7” (2011, Aniseed Records)
Golden Top Mountain Journey 7” and DL (2010, Heartless Robot Productions)
The Broken Sound - (indie) - 2008
The Outer Limits 2 - (Frosty You Haunt Me) - 2008
WAMi Saturday Spectacular Closing Party @ Amplifier/Capitol, Perth (22/05/2010)
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Injured Ninja back at Amplifier were a different kettle of fish. Listening to them requires concentr...Injured Ninja back at Amplifier were a different kettle of fish. Listening to them requires concentration and effort but they command this with their complexities of sound. At times manic, sometimes discordant but at all times intense, Injured Ninja captured the growing audience’s attention. The heavy bass, echoing vocals and resilient drumming moved through bodies from head to foot with serious vibrations giving all internal organs a work out. The sweat dripping from drummer Matt Bairstow was a testament to their intensity and their eagerness was obvious in the fact they managed to squash in playing an extra song (to the audience’s delight).
WAMI // SATURDAY SPECTACULAR CLOSING PARTY
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In complete contrast, Injured Ninja take a sonic katana to your eardrums and then slice your body to...In complete contrast, Injured Ninja take a sonic katana to your eardrums and then slice your body to pieces as you drop to the ground. They have stripped back their sound a little to produce a fury of noise and bass lines that if you are passing by sounds like chaos but if you stop and listen it all blissfully comes together, like a jigsaw of a kaleidoscope. They clearly impressed some of the WAMI Business Conference delegates which left me wondering if Perth may just have produced a successful band that does not write easy pop songs.
WAMi Saturday Spectacular Closing Party Review
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“…Injured Ninja, who’s crazed antics and massive vibrations caused most passers-by to become en...
“…Injured Ninja, who’s crazed antics and massive vibrations caused most passers-by to become engrossed by the stage. The dynamic foursome ripped apart the walls as their heavy distortion and electric twist filled the room. The crowed begged for a final track, leaving all members covered in sweat and the guitarist on hands and knees using his effects pedal like a synthesizer, before finally allowing all passer-bys to remember where they were heading in the first place.
Bariken, Kulcha, Fremantle, 01/08/09
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... Injured Ninja were up next and with an opening track that cut through the room like a knife, ......
Injured Ninja were up next and with an opening track that cut through the room like a knife, they quickly got everyone's eyeballs fixated in the direction of the stage. Their heavy synths and fire spitting vocals just plain demand attention, and the drums are always right on. The Ninja raised the bar a couple of notches and with two bands left to try and match it, things were about to get interesting.
Soundstorm @ Mojo's Review 18/07/09
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Early on into the rainy Saturday evening the Mojo's stage room was about half full of punters. The n...Early on into the rainy Saturday evening the Mojo's stage room was about half full of punters. The numbers slowly crept up through as people started to leave the pool tables and catch a glimpse of the intense sounds of Injured ninja, who were quite easily the most impressive band of the night. The grooving, droning synth lines Jake Steele was laying down were enthralling and mesmerizing, sucking in one's attention, whilst the other three chaps in the band were able to go for the proverbial throat with their super tight percussion, attacking vocals and narky guitars. These guy really do have a superb sound going on, and if they can condense a couple of their tunes down for the not so stoned part of the populous then good things are bound to start happening for them.
Injured Ninja: Epic of Gilgamesh @ The Bakery 10/1/09
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With instrumentation for Injured Ninja’s drum assembly Epic of Gilgamesh taking up a fair chunk of f...With instrumentation for Injured Ninja’s drum assembly Epic of Gilgamesh taking up a fair chunk of floorspace, a glowing ropelight separated players from crowd in theory only. Stepping through a minefield of drum kits and 44-gallon drums, the Ninja’s Dominic Pearce led a shirtless warpainted tribe of nearly twenty Perth musos into the first movement: a 16 minute stomp of unrelenting power, which in hindsight served as a warm-up. At its close, with an ancient horn-cry ringing out of the dying beats, lines of the Epic of Gilgamesh were spoken into an infinite echo. Fast ride-cymbal sprinkles heralded an improvised DnB number which turned into the most danceable drum frenzy in recent memory. On this scale, with so much pace and sheer force behind each strike, the floor became a pulsing voodoo heart, pushing each beat up through you, shifting the feel from a trance into kinetic bliss. People sprang and shimmied. Others stood in mute amazement. It created tsunamis inside beer bottles, rattled tables and ignited wide grins. Arms flailed. Quick-fire rapping and guitar noise bounced off the walls.
It melted into a fuzzy keyboard bass riff, and chanting began the third and final movement, IDDQD (a.k.a. Doom’s ‘God Mode’. ‘nuff said).
The gig raised funds and consciousness, and though it’d be good to see this again, you just can’t recreate gigs like these.
Cut and Paste 6 Launch Party - Gig Review
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And so to Injured Ninja who drew a curious crowd in from the courtyard; as well as several hardcore ...And so to Injured Ninja who drew a curious crowd in from the courtyard; as well as several hardcore fans (some might call them stalkers, but let’s be kind) Their set was a mixed bag, some eminently danceable tunes, and some more challenging ones. Bassist Dom Pierce’s intensity was captivating and a little frightening. Being the band member at the other end of his manic stare must have been disconcerting, never knowing if he was going to chuck the bass and start belting the drums, or take the music in a different direction altogether… Or perhaps it just looked like that. The Bakery stage had the drum kit up on a riser, allowing plenty of room for Steven Hughes (guitar/vox) to spring about the stage with a physical intensity to match Pierce. Intensity is rather a good word to describe the Ninjas’ performance in general, their stage presence, their sound, the strain of electric toys, keys and samples pushed to the very limits of music by Jake Steel, the unpredictability of their songs… even those with which we are familiar, might today have a second floor tom being flogged by a musician suddenly transformed into a psychotic witchdoctor. None of this is a bad thing, what is surprising is that it works so well for them. Of course, now that they have had the word intensity levelled at them, their next gig will be a laid back stoner-psych set, just to keep us from pigeonholing them. Catch them on the DVD, or when they return from their tour of Japan, -especially if you’re tired of indie.
Injured Ninja - Circuitboard EP Launch Review - 24 / 10 / 08 Amplifier Bar
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Defining Injured Ninja in terms of genre or style is an impossible task and that's what makes the en...Defining Injured Ninja in terms of genre or style is an impossible task and that's what makes the ensemble such a vibrant and exciting live act. There are elements of dance, indie, dub and metal, but the unfying point of the music is experimentation. The set was a sonic trip through devestating dark cacophony, electro bass lines and droning guitars that distrub and delight. Digital squelches and squealing synths joined thundering tribal dums, some of which were wielded by audience members. Laptops are becoming a common sight on stage, sometimes to the detrminent of a band, but in Injured Ninja's case the near limitless potential of it as an instrument is used to great effect and it doesn't limit the activity of members on stage. There are only so many noises a guitar can make, but take those waves and send them through a computer and, as Injured Ninja demonstrate, there are no boundaries. Saying they're noisy is an understatement but the sheer volume is part of their style, just another expressive tool. The weeping of sound technichains is complimentary to the show, but with Injured Ninja's creative flair those cries are likely to be sampled and morphed into PA melting sceams.