If you were at this past MAGFest a couple weeks ago you no doubt heard the up and coming VG metal group Armadillo Tank help rock the place. For those who weren't so lucky, the group has released their debut album We Are Not Men to order in CD form over at their official store where you can also grab an awesome T-Shirt or two. You can also check out Armadillo Tank's Bandcamp page to listen to the album in it's entirety online, and buy a digital copy of the album.
The album kicks off with a rough and tumble war march style intro which dives into the meat of the album with a rendition of Alien Crush. This song definitely shows off the bands signature style of lo-fi singing and screaming on top of some heavy drums and grinding distorted guitar work. Moving on a little more we hear a great re-imagining of a personal favorite, Mega Man X Spark Mandrill. Starting off with primal drums and slow chords, the song starts to come together into something more recognizable with the introduction of the lyrics about 45 seconds in. At this point we break into an intense hardcore rendition of a familiar theme. With both deep growls and strong vocals mixing together. This brings us crashing through the song which has an excellent but short drum breakdown at about the halfway mark as well. This song is a personal favorite of mine on the album, and is definitely worth checking out specifically.
The album also takes us through quite a few overlooked and unfamiliar VGM tracks of days gone by, with tracks like Amagon, Smurfs, and the aforementioned Alien Crush, this band has definitely gone out of their way to pay homage to some overlooked tracks with some impressive results. If no the unlikely chance that someone you know states that the smurfs are "totally not metal" you can point to this bands wild west style rendition, and nod at them slowly. We also have some more familiar tunes of course, with the likes of music from Silver Surfer, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, and some more great Mega Man tunes from games 2 and 9 respectively.
Another stand out track to me is near the end of the album. TMNT 4 has a driving classic calm before the storm attitude to it that seems to bring one back to a more grungy rock era. The quick paced drums coupled with the slowly, somewhat somber guitar riffs really make this a stand out track on the album and in VG Rock music in general. Another definite listen from the album, and great argument for purchasing the full CD.
I'm glad to finally hear some music from this band. Not just that, but their full album, which I have been highly anticipating since pIENESS, lead singer for this band, and a GM4A supporter from the beginning, announced it a while back. Not to mention other great musicians and friends Raub, Cetera, Darmock, and Geotarkus. The fusion of styles and rock attitude makes for a stand out treat for folks looking for something a bit dirtier in their VGM.