Confession the first: I was never a music guy. I never followed bands or musicians, I can’t tell you what songs are on what albums that came out in x year. The Billboard Chart might as well be a listing of actual billboards, and is for all I know. Obviously I listen to music, and I know what I like/dislike. But I had never really gone nerdy over music, not in the same way I had with, say, SF literature or games.
A few years ago that changed; I discovered an entire genre of music just for a guy like me: nerd rock. Jonathan Coulton, The Great Luke Ski, MC Frontalot…theirs was the music my soul made when I gamed! How could I not love this stuff? I’m fairly certain I played it all on repeat enough times, my roomies planned my eventual demise. But this music was the new soundtrack to my dorky life; the threat of death was a small price to pay.
Which leads to my second confession of this post: for as much as I was rabidly into the growing nerd music scene, I had never heard note one of Kirby Krackle until four months ago. I know, I know! That’s like saying I’m really into classical music, but who the eff is this Mozart guy? Believe me, I’ve since made up for lost time; their self-titled first album and sophomore “E for EVERYONE” have been in steady rotation. And as of Friday I was able to add “Super Powered Love” to my daily music cycle.
“Super Powered Love” continues delivering the things I love about Kirby Krackle’s music. Fun, quirky, energetic music? Check. Lyrics rife with pop culture reference’s? Check and check. But three albums in and KK has kept what I consider to be their most important quality: heart. Yeah, yeah, cue the Captain Planet-inspired snide comments, but I’m serious. I have no doubt that if all Kirby Krackle released were clever songs featuring comics and video games, I would still give them a listen. But without that heart they wouldn’t be in my play-list every day, sometimes all day.
Per esempio: KK could have written a cool song about how awesome it would be to be Iron Man, and that would have been okay. Instead, they gave us Tony Stark, and showed us the heroism that comes from being flawed, sometimes failing and fighting anyway. They could have stuck to quirky songs about pop culture and we’d have listened. And while they did those songs (Teabagged, Great Lakes Avengers), they also gave us music that speaks to the isolation and loneliness that sometimes comes from being a geek. On the new album, for instance, Big Heart exposes the hero that resides in even the meekest of us; Needing a Miracle and Open Up Your Window remind us that there is love, loyalty and hope out there for all us misfits, that we are not as alone as we may think.
Don’t be fooled, “Super Powered Love” still has a lot of fun geekery to go around. Bite of Another is a rock-blues number about a guy trying to deal with his new vampiric status; Rainbow Bridge gives a look through Thor’s eyes, and has a great (and totally appropriate) ’70s rock feel to it; stepping into the position of My Favourite Math Song (previously held by Darkest of the Hillside Thickets‘ Math Song) is Booty Do Math, a fun little rock-rap number encouraging women to bust out the arithmetic. And In Another Castle? The best description I can give you is “Mario’s ukulele lament” coupled with “awesome!”.
And there is tons more to hear; “Super Powered Love” weighs in at a suped-up thirteen tracks. So I haven’t even touched on Then Again, Maybe Not, or Hunt ‘Em All Down, or Comic Shop…look, just get the album. If listening to it does not make your day even marginally better, I will personally buy your copy from you and gift it to someone not dead inside.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to grab my headphones and some comics. Hit play, and…aaaaah!
What are your thoughts on Kirby Krackle? Have you heard the new album yet? What do you think? Comments section is right down there…