I know, I know. Gaga's new single leaked and your homoears won't be listening to anything else this weekend. But rain, shine, or Gaga I'm still bringing you audiophiles the best in video game music right here every Friday. And this week's Audio File Friday is going out to all the fighting game fans out there.
Now with a name like Man Factory one's mind doesn't immediately go to attack combos; you'd think we'd be getting some kind of sledgehammering gay techno thump. Or some absurd boy band. Or both.
Instead, we're getting a funky new-wave pop/rock fivesome and a three album rock opera based on the game that started it all: Street Fighter II.
Hailing from Texas, the band of gamers is comprised of members Tyler White, Austin Sevener, Lane Rackets, Dave King, and Andrew Ehmann. Five years ago the group came together and have spent most of the time since focusing their efforts on the aforementioned three album rock opera based on Street Fighter II. As they describe themselves:
We fancy vocal harmonies with Momma-I'm-comin-home-late guitar riffs (if that actually makes any sense). We sound like the Cardigans and Weezer (um, their older stuff).
It all begins with A Night at the Arcade:
Titled Street Fight, the first and second albums, Round One and Round Two respectively, have already been released and are ready to be heard and downloaded. The third and final release, Round Three, is on its way likely sometime later this year or the beginning of next. If it's as fun as the first two albums then the wait will be well worth it.
Though not affiliated with Capcom legally, there's no love lost for the company's genre-birthing title. Each song delves into the plight of the original world warriors, exploring themes of love, revenge, and winning one's fight money. Lines, melodies, and concepts carry over from song to song, tying the entire project together and helping craft the intended operatic vibe. This isn't just a collection of songs about a game being called an opera; the music chops are here, and each album is a tight well wrapped package.
lol And while described by the band as a rock opera, the endeavor doesn't shy away from other genres like folk, pop, and even some R&B on tracks like Balrog 24/7. A track they even made this adorable music video for: Is that Jaden Pinkett-Smith!?
When not pining over Chun Li's 'bogus thighs' the songs explore the storyline of Street Fighter II, filling in the blanks of what is a decidedly simple tale to begin with. The end result is something unavoidably video game based, but with a dash of humor and enough universal appeal that even someone who's never touched a joystick could appreciate.Man Factory would be right at home at a both a game convention and a trendy downtown music show. They've even got some non-Street Fighter II music to show off as well.
I really can't get enough of this group. Their song Vega Genesis, the final track on Round Two, has been on repeat
right next to Gaga. I'm dying with anticipation for Round Three, which promises to be the darkest part of the trilogy. And once this epic project sees completion it will be exciting to hear what they do next. I may not be all up in Chun-Li's epic thighs as much as I am Ryu or Daddy Bear Zangief's, but as a Street Fighter nut these albums are nonetheless something to be treasured.
Gamers making great music for gamers. That's what it's all about.
As always, hit up their website, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and stream and download (for free or for money) Rounds One and Two via their Bandcamp. Round One you can name your price on for a digital copy, and Round Two you can buy either a physical CD or a digital copy. You can also get shirts and find out if they'll be performing near you any time soon.
Well that about wraps it up for this week, audiophiles. Be sure to squeeze some Man Factory into your weekend listening, and I'll catch you right back here next Friday.
And remember if you've got a band, DJ, producer, singer, or just anyone who makes awesome music that is video game themed or inspired that you think should be featured be sure to let me know in the comments section! I'm always on the prowl for fresh new tunes.