So once again I’m probably behind the eight ball in terms of discovering something, but I just recently heard a nerd band called Kirby Krackle for the first time. Theirs songs mostly deal with comic books and video games. I was very impressed, and bought their self-titled first album a few weeks ago. After listening to it quite a few times, I have decided (because I know you care!) to write a track-by-track review of the album. I have a feeling you’ll like it as much as I do. Now, keep in mind these guys are not Iron Maiden–their music is not complected at all, and the singer, while good, is by no means amazing. They sound…well, I haven’t listened to many garage bands in my life, but if I did, I imagine that this is what the very best of them would sound like. That’s not a diss. The attraction here (at least for me) are the clever lyrics and the subject matter. The music and vocals are more than enough to back that up.
1. Back To the Beginning
Great way to start off the album. This is an upbeat song, about a game that almost every person of my generation remembers playing: Mario Kart. The references are overt, and easy to follow and identify with. Also, the descriptions are spot-on. The music perfectly captures that sense of elation (and sometimes frustration!) we had playing this game as kids. I’m sure this will resonate even more with folks who played against actual people. (I was usually stuck playing against the CPU; my neighborhood had a very sad derth of gamers when I was a kid.)
2. One Of the Guys
Another fantastic song, probably my second favorite on the album both for music and for content. Its about Ben Grimm (aka Thing from the Fantastic Four, of course) and how difficult he finds it to live a normal life given his condition. Its surprisingly touching, the final verse is great, and the music is very, very good. I’m not really a Fantastic Four fan, but this song made me want to go check out some FF comics just on general principle.
3. Up, Up, Down, Down
If you’re reading my blog, you’d better be able to finish what this song title starts ;-). It’s the famous Konami Code, of course, although that’s not what this song is about. Its actually about a guy trying to get the attention of a girl, and the girl turns out to be…well. Yeah. Not someone whose attention he should have been trying to get.
She turns out to be a serial killing stalker, is what I’m saying, and ends up killing him rather nastily. As a song, the song is very good, and the twist at the end (and juxtaposition of the happy, bouncy tune with the quite violent imagery at the end) works very well indeed. But I still don’t like this song, on a personal level. After listening once, I always end up skipping to the next about halfway through. Not because I can’t handle a little gore in my music (see song #10, Zombie Apocalypse), but…I dunno. It disturbs me a bit more than it should, I guess, and if that makes me a wuss, so be it. Me, I’m hitting the skip button and moving on to…
4. Naked Wii
The closest thing to a…love song, I guess, on the album. Its actually quite sweet, and very funny at the same time. A guy invites his girl over, and they play some Wii. Naked. No big deal, right? The music is suitably slow and romantic, and really ‘sells’ the song as serious despite the fact that its really kind of absurd. Its not in my top ten favorite KK songs ever, but its not bad. Cute is the word I’d use.
5. Villain Song
This one’s quite amusing. The tune isn’t terribly memorable–I don’t find myself humming it under my breath the way I do with Back to the Beginning or One Of the Guys, anyway–but it works well enough, and the plot is quite funny. A generic supervillain (the kind we all know) is lamenting how the hero always manages to get his way, and destroy anything the villain makes. This leads him to swear off evil and go into retirement (at least until the final verse.) Fun introspection, really. After all, who WOULDN’T be frustrated, being stymied at every turn like that?
6. Marvelous Girls
I LOVE this one. A very catchy rhythm, that WILL be stuck in your head (in a good way.) This song pays tribute to many, many (generic) females from all over nerddom (Wakandan Girls, Genoshan Girls, and so forth.) My only complaint: where are the Themyscirain Girls? Are Amazons not cool enough or something? I demand a sequel!
Yep, this one is about exactly what you think. Now, I don’t really do FPSes, and I especially don’t do FPS multiplayer online. But I’ve heard enough stories that I still count this as the funniest song on the album. The lyrics and great, and some of the rhymes are just classic. Absolutely in my top 5.
8. Another New Crisis
This one’s now a throwaway for me, exactly–the song is good, and I sympathize with its subject (comic book event fatigue), but I guess I just don’t have enough experience or history with comic books to relate on a personal level. If you do, however, I think you’ll find a whole lot to like here.
9. Counting On You
This one is…surprisingly touching. Essentially its about Superman and Batman, and how the world relies on them for protection. The melody is slightly melancholy, and really makes you feel the weight that rests on these heroes’ shoulders, while at the same time admiring them and their dedication to an ideal greater than themselves. I felt like this one kind of came out of nowhere, and I had no idea what to expect based on the title, but it really is one of my favorites.
10. Zombie Apocalypse
Silly, dark, and quite (hilariously) gruesome, this is a song about exactly what the title says: a survivor of a zombie plague, and the way he gets through his day. (Hint: it involves a shotgun and many, many headshots.) Again, the music itself is an ironic juxtaposition (KK seems to like doing that). It sounds almost like upbeat island luau music, but of course the subject matter is very dark, and not presented all that humorously (although there are funny moments.) I don’t stick this one on repeat, but its still fun to listen to.
11. Hidden Track (Tony Stark)
Now, I bought this album off iTunes, so I’m really not sure how this track was originally ‘hidden.’ I do know its a shame that they chose to ‘hide’ the best song on the whole thing! There’s a bit of personal bias involved here because Iron Man is one of my favorite superheroes, and Tony Stark himself is probably (if you twisted my arm and made me chose only one) my single favorite comic book character of all time. Because of that, and my knowledge of the struggle he’s been through (especially lately) I find this song incredibly moving. (Basically it has to do with the Civil War storyline, and the way Stark screwed up the entire Marvel universe while trying so hard–and sacrificing so much–to save it.) Its quite sad, the melody is very melancholy, but its still a great song, and (I think) really gets at the heart of the character and the great battles he fights, not with evil villains, but with himself.
So! That’s my review. Definitely check out the album of you get a chance. (You can sample any and all of the songs I discussed here.)