Revengineers: "The Exploding Threat"


By George Bass | 29 March 2012

Anamanaguchi may have clinched the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack, but they’re not the only marketable chiptune act in town. Since Team Doyobi first opened arcade machines on Choose Your Own Adventure (2004), plenty have tried perfecting commercial 8-bit music, hungry to corner that key demographic that isn’t made of web developers. It’s a shrinking market every day.

This week, Revengineers are hungriest. A staple of the New York Nintendo scene who’ve supported the likes of Starscream and Noisewaves, the four-piece’s USP is guitars as old as their software, pulling off the kind of mainstream power chords only Hundred Reasons could get away with. On “The Exploding Threat” they let rip with poodle rock and chiptune, buzzing with the energy of a thousand bad haircuts and leaping from cartridge to cartridge. It’s odd to hear how dextrous this rock/joystick formula’s become since Anamanaguchi premiered it on Power Supply (2006), and how far Revengineers push it in one song: consoles frothing as the main action ends, bass gargling for the cool down. Despite their limited components—just drums, guitar, and Game Boy—Revengineers are versatile, and should easily be considered for Band at Mall if Michael Cera shoots a time travel comedy.