Somewhere, somehow, amidst a perceived local musical poverty, emerges Ronin, a rock band that’s so unapologetic about their legacy, they’ve bolted as far as they could from the banal masses. Their debut EP, produced by studio maestro Leonard Soosay, demands not only your mild applause, but whole-hearted idolisation. For the uninitiated, the Japanese word Ronin stands for a group of ‘masterless samurais’, warriors who abide by no rules or leaders. Ronin has neatly slipped past the usual pitfalls of wannabe rock stars – lack of talent, insipid packaging, lackluster lyrics – or perhaps a shrewd marketing sense informed them to bide their time till they were ready for a grand entrance. Nonetheless, this 5-track EP surges with untamed force, a wild feast of full-throated rock and roll complete with yelps, sniggers and puckish one-liners. The opening lines of Do What Thou Wilt has Levan Wee, the lead singer, teasing,
“Little Timmy, we love you but you got to get your grandma out of here, you got that right,” before launching into the one of the most impassioned wails you’ll ever hear. Animal, possibly the EP’s catchiest rock tune, is racy, raunchy and immensely fun to listen to: the chorus goes “Bang, bang, you’re just an animal”, a generally great line to pull on your friends. Crazy Son is the demo’s only slow track – curiously, it’s slated be one of Ronin’s most popular songs, taking the theme of parental objections to rock-star aspirations into an anthem of will and pure passion. If you’re sick of amateur rockers failing fast the moment they step on the big stage, here’s a group that dares to defy your expectations. Be part of the rock revival by visiting their website, www.roninriot.com, where you can join their mailing list and get your hands on the EP.