Now there are a lot of video game cover bands. Most of them are pretty tongue in cheek. Video game music is, after all, a genre defined by a hobby, and you don't ever see bands doing serious music about stamp collecting or racing go-karts. Browse OCRemix or the Google archive of vgmix.com (RIP ;_;) and you'll see mostly one-shot what-the-hell covers thrown together by some guy in a basement during a pot binge. Sometimes the guy in the basement is a professional musician, and sometimes the pot binge lasts months--but even in that case it's a guy who spends his Friday nights at clubs playing "real" music.
That's most game cover bands. This is The Protomen
Or, as they more accurately call themselves, THE PROTOMEN!!
Curb-stomping the stereotype of the nosepicking pocket-protector geek with raw facefucker sound, these guys have reworked the hilariously contrived, shit-Engrish plot of an NES classic into a seven-part rock opera tour de force in the vein of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust (except hardcore instead of glam). Newcomers familiar with video game music will probably expect something silly or derogatorily affectionate in a terrible is the new awesome
sort of way. But no. Their eponymous first album reworks the first Mega Man game's threadbare plot, turning the backstory of Mega Man's evil doppelganger into a soulful, cross-genre, riff-wailing, guitar-smashing tale of Orwellian oppression, betrayal, and heroic failure. Melodramatic? Yes. But so was Phantom of the Opera
. There are no actual covers of Mega Man songs, but the style will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played the games. Plus, it's loud
. Puts the Rock back in Rockman (and the Man as well). I've listened to the songs on their MySpace page
about three or four times in a row and they still aren't getting old; if I weren't short on disposable income right now I'd be shelling out for a copy of the album immediately.
Possibly the best thing about this band: They do their live performances in costume. They have a spraypainted red-and-white motorcycle helmet for Protoman and a blue motorcycle helmet for Mega Man, and they play it completely serious
Not convinced? Go see the intro video
on their website and tell me you're not impressed.