The amazing California duo consisting of Dumbfoundead and 8 Bit Bandit, collectively known as Super Barrio Bros, have recently released their self-titled full length debut. The album is 11 tracks of amazing Chip Hop. Both amazing lyrics by Dumbfoundead and friends, as well as superb DJ and production work by 8 Bit Bandit. The album is available through Super Barrio Bros. myspace page. The album is a length of about 35 minutes over 11 tracks, with 3 more bonus tracks from Thirsty Fish and friends coming in at ten more minutes.
The Intro is just that, and starts off the album showing off 8 Bit Bandit's skill as a DJ, a lot of impressive scratching and sampling work here, and gets you in just the right mood to enjoy the rest of the album. Mash and Smash kicks off the album in full, with Dumbfoundead bringing his style of raps and throwing gaming references left and right. This song is a great gamer trash talking track with lines like "Shedding tears, there ain't no wedding here, some lame excuse about how the control settings weird." A great way to kick off the vocal side of the album, and show off Dumbfoundead's skill and style.
Next song is Bosses featuring Dumbfoundead's hip hop pals Alpha MC & Open-Mike Eagle. As the track indicates, this song has the crew rapping from the perspective of an end level boss, which makes for some great lines from all three rappers, including "Psycho Mantis tried to read my mind and got a migraine." Alpha MC and Open-Mike Eagle also add their own style to their respective verses. That along with the perspective of the song make it stand out well from the previous track and lead well into the next track. That track being Bad Villain, another song from the perspective of the baddest of villains, and we all know how villains always get the best lines. One of the best lines is from the chorus, "I'm a villain, everything my rival isn't, I'm gonna look for new worlds and I'm gonna try to get it, If you got a cute girl I'm gonna try to hit it, to obtain this kind of image, you gotta be bad." The thing is, you know the villain can take your girl, because they just are that bad. This song also has some impressive musical flourishes that you may not notice at first, when focusing on the lyrics, but adds a lot to the song, not to mention a great outro.
The next song, Three Pipes Down features Psychosiz and takes the Mario underground theme, and adds some hip hop style to it. In this track Dumbfoundead speaks on his hometown of Los Angeles and some of the wacker emcees abound, ending the final verse with the just as awesome but less appreciated Super Mario Bros underwater theme. This leads to the Song Of Time Instrumental, an amazing tribute to Zelda, with some strong drum beats, and a kind of lo-fi style. The track is still able to evoke the same feelings one would have for the original tune as well. Another track really showing off 8 Bit Bandit's style and appreciation of video games. This is also the lengthiest track on the album at just over four minutes.
We are now past the halfway point, at track seven, Strategy Guide which features more friends Sahtyre, Psydewaze, & Nocando. The track is all about the strategy guides of yore. The track was originally the Start Button Instrumental from the Barrio Bros EP, which is an amazing track by all means, with some nice elongated notes that add some nice contrast against the speed of their flows. The intro lets this slower style ebat play out on it's own a bit more, which leads well right into the fastest song on the album, clocking in at under two minutes. Their self described punk rock song System. Also their most energetic song, and features some insane scratching techniques in the center. This fast paced song is definitely one of my favorites on this album.
At this point 8 Bit Bandit busts out with his third instrumental, which carries a bit of a glitch chiptune styling along with more scratching techniques all over a fairly creepy beat, this is the not so creepy sounding Snoochie Instrumental. This leads us to the final vocal track of the album, and my personal favorite Game Over. This song is over a chipped out Beck track, and flowed over so well you'd never imagine it being intended for a different song. The whole song is spent speaking of one of the saddest points back in our old arcade days, getting a game over and realizing the loss of our quarter. It's a great song, and you can imagine it being during the credits of some amazing documentary about arcades.
The final song is the Outro Instrumental which skillfully does some Super Mario Bros. 3 very well, and helps you remember why Barrio Bros went with the name they did. It's a soft song that really helps the album end with a good feeling.
After this song though the album comes with three more video game referencing songs by a few of Super Barrio Bros friends. These Bonus Round tracks are Next Level featuring Lyraflip & N/A & EMS Of Middle Men, Shit Talkers with Thirsty Fish, and finally Glitch Ghost featuring Abstract Rude. These tracks are a different style from the Barrio Bros tracks but still great listening, and a cool extra for purchasing the album.
Just like their name, Super Barrio Bros., they successfully and equally pay tribute to both video games and our youth spent playing them, and the hip hop culture of their native Los Angeles. They show both their background growing up playing Street Fighter in the arcade, but also growing up with a strong love for the hip hop and music of Los Angeles, and show that love of video games and hip hop are not mutually exclusive. This is definitely a must have album for lovers of chiptunes, chip hop, nerdcore, video games, and underground rap. You can check out Super Barrio Bros music and buy their album at their myspace page, as well as check out the myspace pages of 8 Bit Bandit and Dumbfoundead for more of their musical endeavors.
A few technical things as well. Tracks 1-11 produced by 8 Bit Bandit, Next Level produced by N/A, Shit Talkers produced by Dibiase, Glitch Ghost produced by Maestroe. Artwork on the album by DosTres. Wanted to get that out there since it's amazing art! Also, live SBB pictures from Level Up!.
I wanted to end this article with a line from Super Barrio Bros.' Game Over.
Game Over, with injured finger joints, insert coins and continue to defend your points.
Take the initiative to type your initials in, show 'em who the boss is and fight 'til you finish him.