I Fight Dragons - KABOOM!
Release Date: October 24, 2011
Record Label: Photo Finish/Atlantic Records
For a band that can write some very catchy tunes, these guys receive a lot of undeserved hate on AP.net. Personally, I'm not a fan of the 'nintendocore' or 'chiptune' genres (Bands like I Fight Dragons that utilize video game noises in their music), yet KABOOM! strikes a chord with me. It's a fun album filled with infectious choruses and nice beats. Admittedly, the lyrics aren't as deep as one would like, "Don't you/Don't you wanna party?/Drink up, so you don't have to think no more" doesn't leave me mesmerized, but they get the job done. It helps that vocalist Brian Mazzaferri has a diverse skill set, excelling at both slow paced songs, high energy jump along types, and radio friendly hits. While sometimes lacking lyrically, the album's other strength make up for it.
The 14 song album kicks it off with a short intro piece (There are actually 2 purely instrumental pieces, making the album about 12 songs, really). It then is followed up with "KABOOM!," the song the album is named after. It has some of the best lyrics of any song on the album, with Mazzaferri blasting out a chorus of, "Some day they're going to drop the bomb/Who knows who they'll drop it on?/Maybe someone that you love/So, before they get to you/Do what you got to do." The next song, "Save World Get Girl" is a bit slower paced, and has a nifty 3-D music video for Nintendo 3DS users. It's not the catchiest song, but it's not bad, either. "cRaZie$," the next song, picks up the pace again. The band is trying to promote this song a lot, and after listening to it a bit, it is clear why. The chorus and nice guitar/NES work provide for a catchy song. After a short instrumental piece, the next song, "My Way" is another great piece. A catchy song about not caring what others think, it's the last of the stellar opening to the album. The next song, "With You" is not the band's best work. It's very slow paced, and forgettable. "Fight For You," the next song, has a catchy chorus, and would contend to be the band's lead single for the album, if not for the boring verses. It's a shame, too, since the uptempo chorus is great, with lyrics like "I will fight for you!/It's you and me against the world, nothing new."
The band's most popular song, "The Geeks Will Inherit the Earth," is up next. It's a very fun song, though nothing deep. The band goes a bit heavy on some of the electronic effects, and although they are produced well, it would be nice if the band relied less on autotune. Up next is a song kinda like "With You", titled "Disaster Hearts," in that it is very slow paced and kinda boring. Lifted from an old EP, "Don't You" is up next. It's refreshing to see a great song this late in the album, since many artists lose steam after 7 or 8 tracks. The final few songs, minus one, all kinda blend together, and none really stick out. The exception, "Working" is oddly one of the least popular tracks on the album. After a slow start, the song really picks up, and it probably is my favorite IFD song. When it picks up, Mazzaferri really shines, as he does on most uptempo songs.
Overall, despite a couple of down tracks, this is a stellar album. I would highly recommend "KABOOM!," "cRaZie$," "The Geeks Will Inherit the Earth," and "Working." These guys are about the only "Nintendocore" band I listen to, and this album is a great example why.
Brian Mazzaferri (lead vocals, guitar, NES, Game Boy)
Hari Rao (bass)
Packy Lundholm (vocals, lead guitar)
Chad Van Dahm (drums)
Bill Prokopow (vocals, keyboards, NES, SNES, NES Advantage, NES Power Pad, NES Zapper, Rockband Guitar)