Even though I've been talking about 8 Bit Duane and the Amazing BrandO since 2008, it's been a long time since one of their albums has been in my album review periphery. To be plainly honest, I wasn't going to review this EP. I tend to review albums that could use my meager push, but D&B are killing it. Well, as killing it as you can be in this VGM niche. They don't need my help. OR SO I THOUGHT.
I still think so actually. They got a few purchases on bandcamp, and deservedly so because this album is some vintage punk rock hip hop and it smashes. D&B lays down some intense and catchy and NSFW rhymes based on five more classic game soundtracks.
So why would I take time to review an album you all should have downloaded long before checking my review? Well, Duane was nice enough to toss an email my way to review their latest. That's all it takes. You think I want to go searching for great music? If you just send it to me that's cool too. So here's your review.
The album kicks off with the somber piano intro of Spy vs Spy, before Duane and Brando drop the beat. Great track to introduce newcomers to The Adventures… with the clear antagonism between the titular characters, pitting D&Bs rhymes directly against each other. The mood of the track also evokes that of the duo's classic Duck Hunt remix.
When I said 'five classic games' earlier, well that is a very soft use of the word 'classic' for this track. I guess a better word for the NES Barbie game is 'remember.' As in, 'remember the barbie game for the NES? Sorta.' Despite that, D&B go in, kill the beat, and create an upbeat girl power jam that sadly doesn't last long, but is beautiful as she walks by.
Finally a mother fucking remix of Balloon Fight! I'm glad these are the musicians to take it on. Never have I seen a more well known, fondly remembered game that gets less remixes. I love the music to the NES game Balloon Fight and the Game Boy follow up Balloon Kid. Every musical note in Balloon Fight (and there isn't many of them) is a joy to my ears. Balloon kid is ballin' and D&B can feel the passion of the battle of balloons in their remix. The call back hook is gold, and for talk about riding balloons on a breeze, this track has some of the heaviest rhymes on the album.
When I said the album smashes, I was referring to the track 'Rampage' specifically. This track falls into a jazzy groove all about hitting the town, physically, and destroying all of it. The infectious groove on this track feels like the glue that ties this little EP together. These funky rhythms get me amped up to push through the full album one more time, again, another time…
That's not the finale though, because Duane & BrandO saved the objectively best music for last. At least as long as I am the one writing. Any and all Castlevania based remixes are welcome here, due to my unwavering love of NES Castlevania music. Though I am most partial to the OG CV OST, Simon' Quest is damn near just as good.
The track opens with a deep club beat, like you just showed up at the door of Drac's house party. Simon Belmont didn't come to party though, he came to straight murder the host of this castle. This is one of the tracks D&B is best known for, an eclectic hip hop adventure through the world of Castlevania 2, of course culminating in a final battle between good and evil.
Then it's all over, unless you got this catchy little EP on repeat like I do. Play it again me. make sure to check out the Thanks Mom on bandcamp and download it for an easy $5, or buy ALL The Adventures of Duane & BrandO. Both good choices.