Community is a vital part of our lives; it brings us together and it keeps up connected. Us gaymers know a thing or two about community, whether it's the gay community, the gaming community, or the gaymer community for which this very site was created.
Creating community is a wonderful, and necessary, thing. Sometimes all it takes is the desire to find others like you, and letting that desire grow and grow until you've created something new. And how invaluable, to have people to share yourself with while simultaneously finding new things that others want to share with you.
Earlier this week two groups that have been featured here before, The Megas and Rare Candy, shared at the exact same time the newest release from this week's featured band, Entertainment System. It got me thinking: These guys all know each other; there's a real community of rock n' roll gamers out there and they're all working together to promote each others' work.
And thank goodness for that, because finding a new artist to feature week-in and week-out is harder than you might think
even when you have no life like me. Thankfully this week was a no brainer, and artists I already love did all the finding for me.
Entertainment System knows the gamer musician community well, having worked their way up from an admittedly rough start to becoming one of the most well-received gamer groups around. Based out of Baltimore, the group has worked through a handful of incarnations to release five studio albums, tour the country, and even form their own gamer music festival; the Bit Gen Gamer Fest.
Just this last week Entertainment System dropped their newest full length record Rock n' Roll Cereal, a tribute album to Mario and Zelda. Now before you say, 'Mario and Zelda? Again? Yawn.' I know, I know.
And thankfully these guys know too.
From their official website:
Over the years pretty much every video game tribute/remix act has taken a swing at covering selections from 2 of the most well known and loved video game franchises ever, The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. Entertainment System wanted to take a differant approach, all or most acts to cover music from these games typically covered the main themes from each game and including them as almost an obligitory slection on their albums. ES wanted to to give these games and the incredible music that lie within the tribute it deserved so instead of doing one or two selections from the games decided to do an entire album featuring the music of both games to be titled after the Nintendo cereal that featured two cereals in one box, the fruity Legend of Zelda cereal, and the berry flavored Mario Bros. cereal, and so Rock N' Roll Cereal was born. One half Legend of Zelda and the other half Mario Bros. 10 songs in all the new album would be the fifth full length recording put forth by ES...
So don't get your knickers in a twist, the band may be treading familiar water but they also know exactly what they're doing.
My personal favorite on this album is without a doubt the Gerudo Valley cover. Many have touched the popular Zelda track, but this is the first time I've ever heard it done like this. Entertainment System draws the listener in with a slow build, before dropping in the rest of the band and taking the song on a wild ride. Towards the end of the song they push an acoustic guitar up against electric guitar wails and the battle is all win for the audience.
The band has a metal edge to them, but aren't afraid to explore non-traditional metal sounds. How could you not love their Super Mario 64 track, a cover of the infectious Bob-Omb Battle Field. Certainly not the expected rock n' roll/metal fare, but it works. And if they can make it work that's all that's important; they could be covering the Wonderpets theme song for all I care.
Equally unexpected, and equally impressive, is their track Bloop Bloop. The mellow piece is like a breath of fresh air on an otherwise high energy album; ironic when you consider it's covering the Super Mario Bros. underwater theme.
Both of the album's Medleys celebrate the traditionally unsung melodies of their respective games for great effect.
Here's a taste of some of their earlier work:
There's a surprisingly small amount of good F-Zero music being covered out there, despite the franchise having some really stellar tracks. Good ol' Entertainment System is here to remedy that.
A collaboration with fellow Audio File Friday-ers The Megas, off of their dual EP Megtainment.
A stellar Final Fantasy Medley, bringing together the music of Six, Tactics, and Seven.
And who doesn't love a band that covers Ducktales? Again they've covered the not-so-often covered while applying their sound to a track you might not expect from a rock group.
Entertainment System certainly lives up to their name, producing some truly entertaining gaming covers that forgo the expected at every opportunity. The only thing to regularly expect out of this group is quality music and a lot of fun.
Be sure to like these guys on facebook, follow them on twitter, and check out their official website for all the latest on them AND the Bit Gen Gamer Fest which brings the gaming music community together.
That about wraps it up for this week. We're not done! Be sure to check out this week's Audio File Friday bonus track, from Lana Del Rey!