Ronin
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Ronin

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Stonerrockchick.com"

This collective known as Ronin was formed in late 2002 in NYC, and boasts some serious talent, with all the band members having extensive experience and credits in the world of rock…and beyond.

Drummer Michael Sapp is a world travelled jazz percussionist; Ranger X and Captain T usually travel in tandem, with the latter having no less than 6 releases to his credit while Ninja Boy fits in as the renaissance man, who works the production end, but also writes scores for TV and film when he’s not laying pipe with Ronin. Still with me? In addition, lyrics on many of the tracks here come courtesy of underground NYC poet the Madd Doctor. This is merely the Cliff notes version of their lengthy and intimidating bio. For the full effect, check it out for yourself at Ronin

Given such varied individual accomplishments and musical leanings, I was bracing for an unrefined, hodge-podge of everyone doing their own thing…and that usually means a shit record. Let’s just say that is not the case with Ronin’s debut “The Sun Rises In The East”. On this record, Ronin touches on all the aforementioned styles and compacts them into a fiery, focussed slab that I’ve been spinning non-stop for two weeks.

Don’t let the whispery, jazzy intro of “Six Eight” throw you, as before you know it, you are thrown headlong into some sharp riffage and complex bass that evolves into a real progressive jam, bringing to mind mid-era Rush and Opiate era Tool. “Take The Sky” and “Portal” continue on by showcasing the hypnotic vocals and picturesque guitar soundscapes of Captain T and Ranger X. Huge praise for Emily Greene from New York rock band The Mynks, who steals the show with her soaring, riveting vocals on “Portal” – just one of the gems on this debut.

These bouts of melody and melancholy are usually short, but are integral to the layering and overall effect of the songs – and almost always end up kicking your ass with bursts of ad-lib bass and drum work. Ronin continue to push the envelope again with the loose funk-blues of ”Say Goodbye”, and “America’s Free Pt. 2 (The Final Feast)”, as they work a cool Rage Against The Machine style vibe (minus the ultra angry politico attitude). The only drawback in my eyes is the band’s tendency to Tool-like song structures. Barring that, this amalgam of styles makes for an overall fresh and exciting listen. Download “Take The Sky” and “America’s Free Pt. 2 (The Final Feast)” at the band’s website. I think y’all ‘ll dig it. NYC folks, keep your eyes peeled for upcoming live gigs. Buy the CD online at CD Baby - Nick Muc


"Rock N Roll Experience"

“This indie band based out of New York has alot of bite, their songs range from mellow & moody, to riff heavy rage, & the vocals vary too from smooth to intense! I enjoy this band, because they don't sound jaded & void of artistic license/freedom. For the most part, I get the feeling that they are a jam band that finally put their material to tape, & as a music fanatic, I'm really glad that they did, because alot of times rock songs have no groove, but the tracks on this disc are hard rock with a groove & attitude!” - Bob S.


"Abrasiverock.com"

Ronin is "a perfect mix of Old Soundgarden and Kyuss - 4 out of 5 stars" - Mark Carras


"Smother.net"

"I’d suggest that if you’re a Mike Patton fan lyrically that you’d probably dig these guys. I like them because how could you not like a band that consists of Captain T. and Ninja Boy?" - J. Sin


"Las Vegas Weekly"

"Find some suitable banging surface for your head before putting in this debut CD. This New York foursome pounds out a serious seven tracks, despite all having noms de musique better suited for comics." - Martin Stein


"Alt. Culture Guide"

Somewhat progressive, somewhat artsy, and technically groove-driven with aggression, Ronin's The Sun Rises In The East is almost indescribable.
Mixing funk, metal, and schizophrenic key changes and rhythm patterns, and in one sense or another jamming against a more normalized song structure, Ronin has its own identity of sound in mind. The mixture of sound comes from the near Sabbath stoner/doom crunch of the guitars, the sub funk and fuzzed-out bass styling, jazz/fusion drumming, as well as the emotionally-challenged vocal styling of Captain T, making for such an odd mix…well, maybe not so odd after all. The sound for one, is almost a mix of Primus, Melvins and early Soundgarden all thrown into one pot (no pun on the pot remark, since Ronin has somewhat of a stoner metal sound mixed in).
The seven cuts on The Sun Rises In The East show the band's ability, cuts like the doomy yet moody opener "Six Eight" demonstrating a dark pasture within the sound. The indie rock vibe is found clearly within "Take the Sky" while "Say Goodbye" has the Blue Cheer/Black Sabbath influence written all over it with it's "wah wah" guitar solo.
The technicality of the musical chops is here, and one can imagine that these guys are pretty loud live and probably have it together, performance-wise. The diversity in Ronin's sound should easily put them on the spot for college radio and beyond that scene to the harder-edge music culture, playing music on their own terms.
- Tommy Hash


"KM107 (Metal Radio Show) Brazil"

“Ronin’s music is very good!!!!! You made one great cd!!! Great progressive songs! I am playing it all the time on my radio show!” - Flávio de Souza


"President of CD Baby"

“Killer guitar tone. Love the f**ked-up lyrics. Good stuff.” - Derek Sivers


"Metal Observer"

“Take a bit LED ZEPPELIN, Jazz, rapid drumming, a highly consistent tempo, Alternative Rock, DOORS and far eastern influences, this should come near to the resulting sound.
Conclusion: a very experimental, new kind of music with great lyrics, really very good considering that it’s a debut album. You can just hope for more.”
- Fedric


Discography

"Dissolving Pinch Roller" LP Sept 06

"The Sun Rises in the East" was released in late 2003

"Six Eight" is currently getting airplay in KM107 Brazil
"Portal" is being played in various college radio and internet radio stations nationwide.
"Take the Sky" is currently getting airplay in Argentina.
"America is Free" Various Podcasts on itunes

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Ronin was formed in late 2003 in New York City by a martial arts expert known as “Ninja Boy” (Aka Chris Liang sorted indie film composer and sound mixer ) AND a former US government Project Blue Book agent, known as “Captain T” (Mark Strigl from "Talking Metal Show" and "VH1 Most Metal Moments" Fame). In October of that same year they were joined by Captain T’s old guitar/gunslinger buddy, “Ranger X” and drum prodigy, Michael Sapp.

The Players

CAPTAIN T:
Most details of Captain T's past remain a mystery, but here is what we know:

Through the years, Captain T has recorded and performed as both a solo artist and a member of many bands and projects. Most recently, he has been linked to Ronin, Hollywood Superstars, The Captain T Band, and Roy's Baby. Captain T was fired from a top secret government base somewhere in the Southwest, United States in 1975, but we do not know why. We also have no information regarding his personal life. For reasons that are unclear, Captain T frequently alters his appearance. We do know, however, that he is presently a full-time member of the band Ronin where he is writing, singing, and playing guitar. Captain T is a regular on VH1's Most Metal Moment Show. The Captain's other sites - www.captaint.com & www.hollywood-superstars.com

NINJABOY:

Ninja Boy is a award winning composer and mixer in NYC area with a very international background. Brought up in Borneo, London and Hong Kong, he moved to NYC in 2001. He has mixed and scored numerious Independent feature films, including the " Outlands" and most recently "Kiss Me again" which was featured at the Tribeca film festival. For TV he has worked for Spike TV, Scifi, HBO, VH1. As a bassist and programmer, he worked closely with Peter Zizzo, David Nichtern, the Azure Grey and Red Bud recording artist, Apeanaut.

Ninjaboy took up martial arts at a very young age. Including training in Kendo, Chinese Kick Boxing, Karate and Jeet Kundo. He approches the bass just like in martial arts, with rapid attacks and a focused mind.

MICHAEL SAPP:
Michael Sapp has bee playing the drums since the age of 3. His influences include Dave Weckl, Virgil Donati, Dennis Chambers, Akira Jimbo and Vinnie Colaiuta. Michael styles vary from gospel, funk/r&b, fusion/jazz and latin. Recently Michael has returned from touring with the number one European gospel show "The Harlem Gospel Singers". Michael has played his drums in many different countries such as Italy, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Luxembourg. Michael is also playing on a straight ahead jazz album that should be released in mid January. In addition to playing on another fusion/rock album that should be released around the same time mid January. Unfortunately, the titles to both CD's has yet to be named. Michael has also received musical lessons from the jazz legend great Joe Morello and funk/jazz legend Omar Hakim. Michael is currently endorsed by Anatolian cymbals and other endorsements are currently on the table. Michael enjoys listening to a host of artist, such as: Chick Corea, Mary J. Blige, Herbie Hancock, Brandy, co Pastorius, Joe, Marcus Miller, Music Soul Child, Victor Wooten, Jay-Z, Lenny White, 50-Cent, Youthful Praise, De'Angelo, John P. Kee, Gerald Heyward, Tower of Power, Lveroy Thompson, Cedrick Morris, Ledell Abrams, Frank Zappa and of course Dave, Dennis, Vinnie, Virgil, Akira... On the Ronin album Michael used Tama drums, Iron Cobra double bass pedal, Anatolian cymbals, Remo heads and Dave Weckl signature series snare drum.

RANGER X:
Not many facts or figures are known about the man known simply as "Ranger X," BUT he is known for his firey guitar solos and good home decorating skills. His guitar playing has been featured on various CDs including; Roy's Baby's "Roy's Baby", Captain T's "US Aliens" and "Sinister Ambassador." He plays all guitars, uses Laney amps and never met a beer he didn't drink.