Doujin, Game Music, Reviews

Coming Up All 7’s – Part Seven by The OneUps (Review)

March 28, 2016 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Coming Up All 7’s – Part Seven by The OneUps (Review)on Twitter

Part Seven by The OneUps

The OneUps have just released their seventh studio album, appropriately titled “Part Seven”. The OneUps are a video game music cover band that performs arrangements of a wide variety of music, oftentimes in variations of jazz and rock styles. Their latest album, released just prior to this past MAGFest last month, continues this trend with new covers in a funk rock style. It includes a nice selection of songs, including some fairly familiar ones and some less so. Read on for the full review.

“Part Seven” features music exclusively from Nintendo games from the era of the original NES and SNES, so it will be a fun throwback for anyone who likes the classics. For the most part, the tracks chosen lend themselves pretty well to the funk/rock style, and The OneUps have done a really nice job of blending fairly straightforward renditions of the music with some of their own material.

The album begins with “Double D’s”, which is a cover of “Mission 2” from the NES game Double Dragon. It’s a great start that sets the tone of the album really well with a solid funk groove. This particular track features a nice blend of the instruments that will be featured later. Bass, synths, and guitars all get their turn in the spotlight here and really bring the original track to life.

The album continues with “Those Autumn Thieves”, a cover of “Slam Shuffle” from Final Fantasy VI. This is a great track for The OneUps’ style, so it’s a solid choice. They bring out the grittiness of the original with lead guitar and rhythm guitar playing with heavier distortion than before. This is where we start to see some of the nice variety with how the tracks are arranged; the two guitars are absolutely the stars here, and after running through a fairly literal rendition of the music they go into a semi-improv section where they form some nice interplay between one another.

The next few tracks add some more variety to the arrangements while still maintaining a similar, upbeat funk feel. “Funky O’Hare” (“Green Planet” from Bucky O’Hare) features a synth sound in the melody that is very reminiscent of the sounds of the good ol’ NES. “Saw VIII” (“Metal Man” from Mega Man 2) focuses primarily on the lead and rhythm guitar, with some nice soloing in the middle.

“Port Authority” (“Port Town” from F-Zero) is where the pace starts to change a little bit. It has a slightly more easygoing feel to it than the previous tracks, and departs a little more from the original by being a little more laid back. This one also features mostly guitars in the lead, with some supporting chords from the synth. Next up is “Ice Ice Cavey” (“Ice Cave Chant” from Donkey Kong Country), which has now come to an even more moderate sound and tempo. The guitar sounds here are much gentler, and this arrangement offers a nice, rhythmic yet relaxing interpretation of the original.

“Silence is Golden, Snitches Get Stitches” (“Silence” from F-Zero) is one of the tracks that stood out to me the most. It brings back the synth sounds with background chords supporting two lead guitars. This is an interesting departure from the original; it has a bit more of an atmospheric, shimmering quality to it thanks to the synth accompaniment. The OneUps have also added some really beautiful, rich harmonies to this track that work very well.

“From Mt. Itoi With Love” (“Approaching Mt. Itoi” from Mother/Earthbound Beginnings) brings us back to a rougher sound, with a gritty guitar distortion, and a prominent, dark bass. There are some rich chords near the end again, vaguely reminiscent of the previous track, but ultimately the grittiness serves as a good segue into the following track, “PC LOAD LETTER” (“Hell March” from Command & Conquer: Red Alert). Now we get into hard rock/metal territory, with electric guitars with heavy distortion. This is actually a pretty great example a well-done track that is true to the original version. It opens with the original march & call sounds, and then in come heavy electric guitars, a perfect way to bring this music to life.

The last two tracks are actually something completely different. “Chillin in the Underground” (“Underground BGM” from Super Mario Bros.) starts off as a funk version of the underground theme from Mario, and then features vocals from hip hop video game music artist LucioPro. The same goes for the following track, “POW Block” (“Boss” from Super Mario Bros. 2). They both feature lyrics by LucioPro about Mario (and Luigi, Toad, and Peach in “POW BLOCK”) and his adventures.

The OneUps have produced another enjoyable and high-quality album. If you’ve been a fan of their previous work, you certainly won’t be disappointed with their latest offering. And if you aren’t familiar with them, I would definitely recommend checking them out, particularly if you like rock or funk. You can check out “Part Seven” on iTunes here and Loudr here, or find it along with the rest of their catalog on their website here. You can also stream the album on Spotify.

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