Picture taken by Christian Johnson
If you are reading this and are also above the age of 18, then you are most likely familiar with the Nintendo Entertainment System, also known as NES; well at least if you are cool or ever were cool, then you have some idea of what I am talking about. These days, video games are synonymous with sex, drugs, and violence; rock and roll has also taken a bad reputation from this over-generalization.
I will admit that both video games and rock and roll have succumbed to these stereotypes during more than one era of their existence but it wasn’t always that way. Video games were at one point a moderately wholesome commodity and were still an equally, if not more, enjoyable part of entertainment, as their descendants are today. The Minibosses, through a series of covers, remind us of that time with brilliant renditions of classic NES games. It takes guts to attempt a cover, talent to pull off a cover, and something truly unique to master a cover all-while making it your own; The Minibosses have achieved all of the former and possibly a great deal more.
The NES, although archaic by modern standards, holds some of the most widely recognized and beloved characters of all time. These landmark franchises, of course, spawned many sequels on NES due to their substantial fan base. With sequels, and highly-anticipated sales, came larger budgets for creators to develop soundtracks among other things. The Nintendo Entertainment System, even with technological handicap, still holds some of the most memorable game soundtracks to date.
Most of the world assumes that covers are performed because a band is not capable of creating their own artistic material; that is not always the case. The Minibosses are very talented individuals who continually showcase their talents throughout their EP, Brass. They are capable of much more than being an unsigned, NES-cover band, but I am very glad they have chosen this niche to perform; something tells me they are glad as well.
One track that truly showcases their abilities is their rendition of “Super Mario 2”. Super Mario 2, sorry to ruin the surprise if you still haven’t played it, takes place in a dream world. Many of the levels take the characters to very exotic places and the soundtrack was designed to display that feeling. The Minibosses have captured the entire game from beginning to end, including an incredibly accurate segment involving a tempo change and the acquisition of a star — Listen to the song and you’ll understand. It is quite an impressive feat to stay true to a subject, while really taking it in as your own, and still achieving an excellent end product.
If Nintendo had any brains at all, they would sign this band to a contract; Nintendo is preparing for the release of their new console, “Revolution” which will include a substantial library of NES games for download. An interesting idea would be the offering of the original games and updated versions which included soundtracks from The Minibosses. Any PR/Marketing representative, worth even half of his merit, would snatch up this idea in a second.
The most impressive track, and in my opinion best on the album, is “Mega Man 2”. Mega Man 2 was a game that obviously had a lot of work put into its soundtrack and it shows since it has one of the best NES soundtracks around. The Minibosses have done a great job showcasing the songs from multiple levels of the game all in one beautiful medley. With an album consisting of 10 songs, all from different games, running a quarter short of an hour, this is a bargain for $12.
The Minibosses will also be playing Penny Arcade’s annual PAX gaming expo. It is an event focused around all types of gaming including console, pc, and tabletop. It will be the band’s third year playing the event and it surely is not their last.
It is great, during a time where video games and violence run hand in hand, to be reminded of such a golden era through such well composed and musically competent means. The Minibosses’ album, Brass, is available through their website.
Buy The Minibosses’ Brass EP at Minibosses.com
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