It's easy to forget how annoying certain pop-culture artifacts were in their heyday. Consider the anthem from the original 8-bit Super Mario Bros. Perhaps it fills us with nostalgia for simpler days, when the savage vistas of Grand Theft Auto were inconceivable. At the time, I thanked my lucky stars for the invention of the mute button.
Ergo, aspiring to reproduce vintage video-game music is a questionable endeavor, and it's also the bread and butter of the Chicago geek-geared dance-rock outfit Super 8-Bit Brothers. It's not even a new or interesting idea, and Tub Ring's Rob Kleiner and Kevin Gibson should know better.
On the second offering from their Super 8-Bit side project, preoccupation with an ill-conceived shtick often gets in the way of their being any less irritating or banal than the source material. If you can make it past the abominable opening track, "Computer Space Sirens/Computer Casanovas," it's not all bad — "Skillz" could pass as a Mindless Self Indulgence B-side, and "Roll It Up" and "Geeks No More" are not wholly unpleasant.
Maybe Brawl will appeal to people who get excited about anything related to video games, but I have already rescued Princess Toadstool from Bowser. It was a fleeting, hollow triumph.