"Unlikely Indie legends gift us with DOOM's best emcee effort this decade, through a track crafted by long-time collaborator Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) in [conjunction] with posthumous prolific song-writer, Sparklehorse (Mark Linkous.) Listeners already have precedent that only good could come from duo, Danger Mouse & MF DOOM, as their collaborative project, DANGERDOOM, gave us 2005's The Mouse & The Mask.
What differentiates The Mouse & The Mask from DOOM's dozens of other projects—aside from the Cartoon Network features—is DOOM acting solely as the emcee in this outfit, where he usually has a heavy role in production. It's easy to see how trust was formed, though, as Danger Mouse curated his trademark clean, unique beats that set DOOM up to verbally knock it out of the park on every track. "Ninjarous" makes no exception here and while it exhibits the sterile perfection of Danger Mouse in feel, the influence of Sparklehorse can be heard in the biggest defining characteristics of the track: conventional band instrumentation, tasteful melodies delivered on a chilled piano line trading spaces with warped guitars working together to warm up the track.
"Ninjarous" pops off with The Black Keys' Patrick Carney on a sturdy Hip-Hop drum beat with Jazzy keys [and] delayed/reversed guitar lines floating above the rhythm. After the sanctimonious clearing of the throat, DOOM wastes no time flying through imagery at a breakneck speed: "Brand new crisp beef and brocks, p*ss on 'em / Season box tickets, teeth and socks, whiz kiss on 'em / Silver green argyle, yank-fitted edit / Anything he spitted at, kilted it, and dead it." While these treacherous bars are firing out, sparkling xylophone caps the top of every piano chord allowing the space for beautiful production to excel the intentionally gross bars DOOM is laying down, throat raspy and forewarning in tone.
The combination of Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse's tasteful, spacey, and pristine production amount to an incredible pairing for DOOM's clever bars, crowded and dirty, like the New York City Subway during rush hour. There's no lack in charm from any of the big names mentioned in these credits. It appears this track was left on the [cutting room] floor from 2012's collaboration between Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse, Dark Night of The Soul, which was a star-studded effort and sadly, the last official release from Sparklehorse before passing away.
In a statement to Pitchfork, Danger Mouse wrote, "Mark & I worked on a lot of music together... but it was the song that he and I wrote and recorded with MF DOOM that really resonated with him. It was one of his favorites, so I'm happy to have this opportunity to pay tribute to him by getting it out there." I'm sure he's not alone in that sentiment; it's easy to see why. This song is a strange pairing, making this track, likely recorded in 2009, one of the best tracks DOOM has released in the entirety of the 2010's, which couldn't be more on-brand for The Villain."
- Penned By: Connor Byrne of Brackish (@brackishtheband)