No matter how airtight their plan is or how they tip the scales in their favour, they are forever destined to fail. They are the bosses of your favourite video game, and you have to admit repeatedly losing can be a depressing life to live, real or fake. </p>
With decades of anger and resentment under their belts, four bosses have risen above the others to air their grievances the only way they know how — as a boy band. As crazy as it sounds, that’s the premise behind Big Bad Bosses’ (B3) debut album, Power Overwhelming.
B3 stars the vocal talents of Big Bow (Jirard Khalil), Ronik (Alex Faciane), Sephy (Nathan Sharp), and G-Ca$h (Satchell Drakes) along with the musical talents of Jake Kaufman, acclaimed video game composer of Shovel Knight, DuckTales: Remastered and various other titles. Each member of the band is a parody of an iconic video game antagonists, such as The Legend of Zelda’s Ganondorf and Final Fantasy VII’s Sephiroth. The album covers topics like Ronik’s love of eggs, Sephy’s lady killing tendencies (both with his looks and his oversized sword), and the sexual tension between kidnapper and kidnapee.
With all the talent involved, Power Overwhelming is a good debut for B3. It succeeds as a hilarious parody of the tropes and cliches that surround classic video game villains while simultaneously being a highly entertaining collection of music. As entertaining as the album can be, the humour can fall flat in a few places and the switching of genres doesn’t always work.
The album’s best tracks are high energy affairs that get your blood pumping, fingers snapping, and hips swaying. I will admit that on occasion I did get up and dance along with these songs. You don’t need any prior knowledge of the source material or video games in general. These are enjoyable songs in their own right.
While Power Overwhelming is littered with references and jokes, not all of them are home runs. The humour falls apart when it gets far too meta. This is especially noticeable in “Bears and Birds.” The track focuses around Grant Kirkhope, composer of classic Rareware titles like Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, and Goldeneye 007, hijacking the album. If you don’t know who in the blue hell Grant Kirkhope is, you are left with a bad clash of genres. Don’t even get me started on how useless the inclusion of “Bears and Birds (Radio Edit)” is.
Speaking of unnecessary tracks, B3 dedicates four tracks of Power Overwhelming to little skits and introductions. There are some funny jokes hidden in these one-minute interludes, but at the cost of throwing off the album’s pace. In my opinion, it would have been more effective to include these skits and intros with their corresponding song rather than separating them into two pieces.
Although they may not be a household name like One Direction, Backstreet Boys, or New Kids on the Block, the Big Bad Bosses are a wonderful new boy band. Power Overwhelming is a great starting point as it can appeal to anybody. If you are a fan of video games, you will enjoy the album for parodying your favourite villains and tropes. If you aren’t, it offers infectious beats and catchy lyrics.
If you don’t believe me, I dare you to listen to “I’m the Boss” without getting its lyrics stuck in your head.
Best (and worst) tracks:
iPod worthy: "I'm the Boss", "Angel", "Anger Management," " The Raid"
Worth a listen: "Princess", "Egg Man," "Another Villain"
Avoid at all costs: "Bears and Birds,” “Bears and Birds (Radio Edit)”