Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Advantage

Now, normally I don't care much for cover bands. That being said, there are always exceptions to the rule. And when your M.O is as awesome as that of The Advantage then it’s as good a time as any to make one (AC/DShe being the other exception to this particular rule that comes to mind).

Hailing from rural California, The Advantage is an all NES cover band. That's right, they take the music of the original Nintendo Entertainment System- from games like Double Dragon, Mega Man, Castlevaina, and a slew of others- and update it. Now, if you will remember back in the 80’s NES games had some pretty bitchin’ tunes- tunes chock full o’ wailing midi guitar. And with the console’s inherent limitation of four voice polyphony, the melodic sophistication of many of these games was downright jaw dropping.

So essentially the band merely tapped this goldmine of inspiration and translated it with actual bass and guitars, tricking it out along the way with original drum parts, courtesy of Spencer Siem (Hella). The result is a sound that’s wonderfully retro but not in that portentous 80’s revival scenester sense. It’s more akin to deja vu, a profound feeling of intimate familiarity with something that one has seemingly never before experienced.

None of these all instrumental songs are over two and a half minutes, which is sweet because it means they can cram twenty-five to thirty jams on a single release.

The two that I have and would recommend to anyone are:

-The Advantage (2004)

-Elf Titled (2006)

Both released on now defunct experimental indie label Rue Christine Records.

Oh, and if you have ‘the advantage’ (sorry) of seeing these guys live, do not squander it.

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