April 15, 2004

The Advantage "The Advantage"

It would be rather easy for me to say that The Advantage is a novelty group and a novelty record. It would be easy to say that, of course, because on some levels, it's true: how else should a band/record be considered when it consists of nothing but covers of instrumental video game music? Nintendo games, to be much more specific. That these guys are all involved in geek-based indie-rock bands (Hella being the main culprit) isn't that much of a surprise, either. I bet these guys smoked a lot of weed and generally wasted their youth in front of a Nintendo system--that is, of course, when they weren't delivering pizza or jamming in the garage.

Still, there's something to be said about The Advantage. It's a novel concept, but it's also a fun concept. True, at times its a bit silly, and listening twenty-six songs of video game soundtrack music can, at times, grow QUITE annoying, but the fact that these guys have taken the time to cover music that's normally considered mundane makes the project worthwhile. Truth is, I've wanted to pull out my old Nintendo system to play some of the games that are covered here--including, but not limited to, Super Mario Brothers, Megaman, Zelds, Contra and Castlevania.

While these guys may be in bands that are too heavy--in terms of their music and their seriousness--for my tastes, The Advantage just sounds like fun. Besides, did you even really pay attention to the music back then? I didn't. At various times, I kept thinking "what the heck does 'Super Mario Brothers 2--Underworld' (or the other 25 songs) sound like?" When the song came up, I'd remember and would be all, "Oh, this is cool!" or "I didn't realize that this game had such cool music!" In that regard, The Advantage was always a joy to listen to, simply because it was a fun record. It's not something you'd listen to every day, mind you, but it's still a surprising joy of a record.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.theadvantageband.com
Label Website: http://www.5rc.com

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