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Cover Art

Black Mold ( http://www.myspace.com/blackmoldmusic )

Snow Blindness Is Crystal Antz
Flemish Eye ( http://www.flemisheye.com @flemisheye )
There have been many times over the past 15 odd years where I have had the song from Super Mario Brothers stuck in my head. The main riff, everyone knows, but the part that gets logged in my brain is the few seconds where the music starts to speed up, as you are about to lose your star power.
The song has become one of those instantly recognizable themes from our generation, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to cram a pen in your ear when it gets stuck in your head.
The music of video games has become big business. It is an integral part to the whole experience of the game. That said, it may also be true that the most memorable songs are the MIDI inspired ones, found in some of the classics of gaming.
This brings me to, in a roundabout way, to the new disc from Calgary, AB native Chad VanGaalen’s side project called Black Mold. To me, it is a disc filled with 8 bit classics.
Snow Blindness Is Crystal Antz is clocking in at just over 40 minutes, and a good 38 of those minutes are comprised of, what to me, sound like video-game music. All the familiar bleeps and blips are present, along with other synthetic sounds that remind you of the many boss stages of your youth.
By time time that the first, and only guitar shows up in the title-track, nearly 30 minutes into listening, it seems strange and out of place. Wooden and steel instruments sound bizarre against a backdrop of clicks and hisses.
VanGaalen has created a record full of songs with ridiculous titles (“Fuck Ebay” / “Pristine Boobles” / “Tetra Pack Heads”) that have no correlation to the music at all. It is as bizarre of a listen that you are likely going to get this year.
That said, we are now nearly 320 words into this review, and I have yet to tell you, my readers, whether the records is any good. The plan truth is, I don’t know.
Are the songs catchy? Yes.
Do you want to gouge your ears off after listening to too much of it? Slightly.
Do you have the sudden urge to find a controller and play Kings Questtil your eyes bleed? Absolutely.
I don’t know whether it was VanGaalen’s intention to make a record full of video game songs, but I kinda hope some ambitious programmer takes these songs and creates the most bizarre side-scroller the world has ever seen.
up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-start

By Scott Thomson
Dec 6, 2009

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