Primarily consisting of two members from Tub Ring, Super 8 Bit Brothers is a life-long love affair with video games expressed through a musical outlet.  Fronted by Rob Kleiner and Kevin Gibson, the CD comes across as an unabashed homage to geeks across the planet that were raised by babysitters with names like Atari, Coleco, Intelivision & Nintendo.

Rob and KevinThe album kicks in with the track “Cyber Space Sirens / Computer Casanovas,” which is a catchy tune that comically laments the Internet dating game. It expresses the sad truth about people finding out that those  they are connecting with rarely look like what their profiles and pictures portray them to be. It is a fun tune that is only more amusing due to the irony that it is actually not about video games at all.

If you are familiarized with Tub Ring, then the variety/inconsistency of this album should come as no surprise. Part of what makes Tub Ring so great is a large part of why this album holds up so well. If you are not familiar with Tub Ring please stop reading this right now and go catch up, then come back. I’ll wait for you.

With any album this diverse, there undoubtedly will be some songs that just don’t catch you. For myself, that lone track was “Goodbye Cruel World (of Warcraft).” Having never been a part of the Internet phenomenon of multi-player gaming, it just didn’t do much for me. To anyone that has played World of Warcraft and listened to this album, I would look to the feedback (in the comments) to see what they thought of it.

I enjoyed the rest of the tracks a lot. The music is typically a hodgepodge of leftover game audio samples piled high with layers of synths and electronic drum loops. The lyrics and vocals are way better than the subject material should allow, leading to a much deeper overall experience than one would reasonably expect. Somehow out of all this you get poppy, catchy, fun and funny music that is simultaneously layered and accessible, which holds up to repeated listenings.

BrawlThe album highlights include “8 Bit Lullaby,” a track that one could easily set beside any track on any Tub Ring album and not seem out of place. That’s as good a compliment as this reviewer can give, by the way. Other tracks like “2600 Refugee,” “Blinky Loves Pepper,” and “Don’t Sell the Barrels to the Monkey” wear their heart on their sleeves for a number of classics from the early era of arcades and home consoles. That last track “Don’t Sell the Barrels to the Monkey” is a brilliant ditty sung from the perspective of the barrel salesman that supplied Donkey Kong with all his materials.

If you enjoy heavily electronic music, witty lyrical ingenuity and inspired song compositions, Brawl is a highly recommended album that will likely have a long life in your music collection if you were a gamer of any soft in the ’80s.

Video Link: 2600 Refugee