Earl's Review from thelogbook.com!
Billed as a selection of tracks left out in the cold from one project or
another, 8 Bit Weapon's latest CD - lovingly packaged, as always, in an
authentic floppy disk sleeve - is a mix of material from different "eras"
of their history. Released at Classic Gaming Expo 2007, Mean Time is
perhaps an indication of how busy 8 Bit Weapon has been with commissions
for original material from Disney, among others.
The laid-back '80s-style instrumental "Times Changing" kicks things off,
while "Chronomancer" is much more in line with 8 Bit Weapon's first album
of game music remixes, as is "Flying Spaghetti Monster" (no doubt an ode to
those with noodly appendages everywhere). The newest material, as well as
the highlight of Mean Time by miles, is "Micro Boogie", with its
vocoder-ized lyrics making it an insanely catchy follow-up to Vaporware
Soundtracks' "One Last Mission". Seriously, just try to get this song out
of your head. It ain't easy.
"64 Gigabit Mario Epic" is a curiously titled instrumental with orchestral
samples aplenty; I've got a hunch that this may be more Seth solo than 8
Bit Weapon, because it just doesn't sound like it sprang from a SID chip.
(But hey, I could be dead wrong there.) "Die Kintergrunde", a
collaboration with Thomas Margolf (also known as the German micromusic act
FirestARTer), combines both the retro and modern approaches interestingly,
and is a strong runner-up for the catchiest track on the whole CD.
Following that is a couple of tracks that I remember from Seth's solo
project, Unfortunate Brain Chemistry. It's just possible that the CD that
those tracks come from has faded into relative obscurity for casual 8BW
fans, so it's interesting to hear them here. Though one track is labeled
as a "SID Mix", I really couldn't detect that much of a difference from the
Unfortunate Brain Chemistry version.
"Future Paths" closes things off with a track that once again sounds a
little bit more like Seth solo than 8 Bit Weapon, but that's not a bad
thing. Mean Time may not be the most cohesive album in the world (I say
album, but running-time-wise it's more of an EP), but with a spread of
material over more than five years, it makes up for it with the Weapon's
uncanny sense of a good, catchy song - and it'll do the trick nicely in
tiding us over for the next CD of all-new material.
3 out of 4 / reviewed by Earl Green @ theLogBook.com