"The Sun Rises in the East" (Artificial Records; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The music on "The Sun Rises in the East" doesn't sound like something you'd expect to hear in "Kill Bill, Volume 2" (although the CD cover and title does bring to mind Quentin Tarantino's two part epic). Instead, it's a mostly successful mix of fuzzy stoner guitar sound and Soundgarden-style alternative rock. 

Then again, that description's not entirely accurate. Most of the tracks on "The Sun Rises..." might fit, but many do not. Sometimes, like in the opening notes of "Six Eight," Ronin sounds a lot more like the Doors. At other times, such as on "Take the Sky," the sound is something akin to Jewel with chunkier guitars. And the space-rock intro to "America's Free Pt. 2 (The Final Feast) will really throw you off.

Ronin's "The Sun Rises in the East" may not be for everybody, but it's an interesting and ultimately satisfying collection of rock tunes that are effective despite being so varied.

Ronin: Ninja Boy - bass; Ranger X - 6 and 7 string guitars; Mr. Michael Sapp - drums; Captain T. - vocals, guitars.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.