Since I began writing my Endless Loop column, I have toyed with the idea of including old video game soundtrack music as part of the grand oeuvre of songs I never get tired of. Or, more succinctly, I have toyed with the idea of including the 8-bit music from Mega Man II, the late 80’s video game on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, and consequently, my favorite game of all time. And yes, I realize that that dates me, but seeing as I’m old enough to have fond memories of Atari too, what does it really matter? I am by no means a gamer, but I certainly can appreciate the music that goes into these things, especially those quaint, nostalgia inducing 8-bit tones.
But, regardless of how much I love the music from Mega Man II, and how much it honestly still holds up, I decided against it. I may eventually change my mind, but for now we can focus our energy on Brass, the 2005 album of Nintendo covers by Arizona band The Minibosses.
For a brief period in the early and mid 2000’s, a whole slew of bands seemed to surface who were almost entirely influenced by old video game music, crafting loving covers of everything from Asteroids to Zelda across many different genres. The Minibosses took the progressive rock route, turning themes from Castlevania, Super Mario Brothers 2, and more into hard, guitar-driven anthems. These are the kind of jams to smoke weed in your garage to, to cruise around town in a Trans Am to, and to be simultaneously amused and baffled by. Did they just play the theme to Metroid? Yes they did. And it’s wonderful from start to finish. It kind of sounds like The Fucking Champs just joking around and riffing on Nintendo for an hour.
(Mental note: write about The Fucking Champs.)
Brass may be kind of a one-trick pony, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun, highlighted by the epic, 10-minute take on Mega Man II, a veritable medley of most of the music used in the game’s different levels, the boss battles, and the closing credits that play after you beat the thing. But I might be biased.
Listen to and enjoy the shit out of this album below, and be sure to buy it if you dig it…and you will dig it.
Chester, I dare you to select a nerdier album than this one.
From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.