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Doujin, Game Music

Loaded Cannons: ARM CANNON 2 (Review)

Loaded Cannons: ARM CANNON 2 (Review)

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ARM CANNON, one of the more well known game arrangement bands in the US, released their follow-up to their debut CD earlier this summer titled Return of the Attack of the Legend of Pizzor. The first CD was very well received, so expectations were high for this release.

For those of you who aren’t too familiar with ARM CANNON, they are well known for their great live shows at MAGFest, and one of their guitarist, Dan Behrens, better known as Danimal, is also a member of Metroid Metal and was featured on CHRONOTORIOUS.

Read our review of their latest album after the jump!

The CD starts out with a song most people should know by heart and sing along to, the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” theme. It starts with spoken dialogue from the show done by the vocalist in quite a humorous fashion. He’s got a pretty good voice for this. It’s a solid rock arrangement, but I personally favor PowerGlove’s “Power Rangers” a bit more. Regardless, a solid track.

“X-1234″ is a slow metal cover of Super Mario World’s castle level. It’s a song I always wanted to hear arrangements of, and ARM CANNON did a great job with it with the closing moments of the track being especially awesome, using a synth choir blended with metal. “Two Excellent Italian Siblings” is a medley of Super Mario Bros 2, and again a great track. The overworld is more jazzy with piano and bass being in the forefront, and an excellent guitar solo, while the underworld goes into metal territory. I love the synth tone during the underworld section. It ends on such a cheerful gameshow-like note that you kinda expect Bob Barker to come on out with a smile.

“Woctor Dialy” is yet another arrangement of Dr. Wily from Mega Man 2. In our review of Retro Remix Revue Vol. 2, I noted how the choice of Castlevania 3 was a bit dangerous considering the massive amount of arrangements out there of the same material, and this song is another one that has been done so many times, it’s hard to stand out. While I think that the arrangement of the Mega Man material itself fails to properly set itself apart from other arrangements, the original sections are fantastic, and saves it from being just another “MM2 Wily Stage” arrangement.

“I’m a Real Sexy American Boy” is a joint arrangement of Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels’s entrance themes. Let’s take a deep breath here. A song combining Hulk Hogan’s “Real American” and Shawn Micheals’s “Sexy Boy”… is there even a need to comment on this track? It can’t be anything but the most amazing thing you have ever heard. Utterly amazing. Amazingly amazing. “Real American” is the song of my life, and “Sexy Boy” has lyrics I can deeply relate to.

“Rygar Medley” is the second longest track on the CD at almost 7 minutes. Rygar has an excellent soundtrack that really should be arranged more often, but luckily, ARM CANNON does a great job once again to satisfy my hunger. I really like the guitar and sax sections at the 4 minute mark. “Contra Diction” is obviously from Contra, with “Alien Lair” and “Base” to be more exact. It’s pretty short, but packs a good punch, with there’s a cool jazz section in the middle and a good keyboard solo at the end.

“Kiddik ‘R’ Us” is a Kid Icarus medley, from another forgotten soundtrack that has some great stuff to could use some attention. Great guitar work all over this track and I love the way it builds into the main theme, getting you pumped up and excited. “Mash Crayon” is “Crash Man” from Mega Man 2, and starts off real slow and moody before kicking into a groovy rhythmic arrangement you’d expect from Crash Man’s music. The bass solo is the best part of this song, but the song itself is one of the weaker tracks on the CD. There are some vocals that people who are not familiar with ARM CANNON will probably skip. The vocal work is good, but without the benefit of having seen them live and kinda experienced their personalities, it falls a bit flat on the CD.

“Trashlevania” is from Castlevania 3. As previously noted twice now, tough track to do and stand out in the sea of previous arrangements. While the swinging piano section is quite good and refreshing, it does fall into that said sea, and fails to properly set itself apart. Some might say it’s unfair to always compare these songs to each other, but most fans who buy this album are also fans of the numerous remix outlets and artists doing arrangements, and have heard numerous versions of the material covered.

“Bhost Gusters” is the final arrangement track, and you guessed it, it’s a rock arrangement of Ghost Busters. It’s probably the best track here, with a great arrangement, great vocals, and a capella to close it out. I think everyone will find it to be quite enjoyable. The CD ends with an original chiptune written by Danimal called “Singularity.” At 6 minutes, it’s quite impressive how rich this song is. Fantastic composition and execution, and it kind of leaves you hoping for a Danimal chiptune release down the line. After the 6 minute mark, the “Bhost Gusters” song returns before going into a breakdown of weird sounds and screams.

Return of the Attack of the Legend of Pizzor is a great showcase of ARM CANNON’s diverse style and talent. While the more well known sources such as Mega Man 2 and Castlevania 3 suffer a bit from being exhausted choices, the performances are still impressive and worthy of high praise. If you’re looking for a new game arrangement CD for a cheap buck, I’d recommend this one, but to me personally, their strongest side is their live shows, since you can’t properly portray how funny and energetic they are on stage on CD.

Actually just buy it now for the “I’m a Real Sexy American Boy” song.

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