Back in 2003, a roommate of mine told me that there was an actual band that only played old school Nintendo theme songs. This was equivalent to saying “Hey Evan, Alyssa Milano is in our living room” or even “These dentists want to pour vats of mustard all over your body!” (tmi?). I mean, a rock band and video game music? All people who are masters of the A and B buttons would certainly appreciate a group of men from Arizona who dedicate their skilled musicianship to make us headbang in 8 bits. This band is called the Minibosses.
Sometimes a level in a video game is a lot more appealing if the backing soundtrack helps to stir up the player. Did you ever find yourself feeling outnumbered against the machine gun guy (!!) at the end of “Double Dragon”? How about the countless times when you had no idea what fuzzily graphic’d creature was going to pop out of the darkness at you in “Castlevania”? The themes from those games, as well as ones from “Mega Man 2”, “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out” and even “Super Mario 2”, have been turned into fast, accurate rock ‘n roll renditions by the Minibosses. It’s like you’re in the game … except the game is going by more quickly and you really shouldn’t be taking those mushrooms that pop out of boxes.
Up to now, the Minibosses have released a full album and a live album. Unlike some of other bands that we recommend here on the WMFO blog, the Minibosses will allow you to listen to their entire first album for free. I highly recommend “Double Dragon” for a quick idea of what the band is about. However, for something more epic, check out “Mega Man 2”. There’s tons of levels featured on that ten minute track, including my favorite of the Airman stage. Yeah, I know, I know … I have a favorite Mega Man 2 level theme. Get frustrated by dropping to your death 100+ times as a clumsy blue robot and you’ll get to liking such songs as well.
If you have read this far, then you may be wondering what these guys were like live back in 2004 when I went to go see them at the Middle East. Picture an absolutely packed Upstairs room at the Middle East with, you probably guessed, nearly all guys in their twenties. It was an excellent performance where the band played through their classic NES renditions. They did periodically ask the audience for requests and while my friend continued to yell out “Contra” (eventually played) I joked and wished for “Tecmo Bowl”. That didn’t happen, but what do you know, it will be on their next album! You are welcome, video game rockers. As a lucky bonus, the entire show was recorded and released as one of the band’s albums. Now you too can hear my friend yell “Contra” between nearly every song.
If you like what you hear from me or from the Minibosses themselves, consider donating at Bandcamp to help the group get their new record out. Who knows, with enough support the Minibosses may one day turn up volume enough to blast out some Super NES anthems as well!