January 12, 2012
By Nick Larsen
The Nerd Rock Feature (Achievement Unlocked for Reading All Four)
“What if this song…had lyrics?”, a simple question that would soon take the Nerd Rock genre by storm. Hailing from New York City, brentalfloss first gained notoriety by simply adding his own set of lyrics to the theme of Mega Man 3 which led to the hit Youtube series “With Lyrics”. By re-recording the theme music of hit videogames like “Dr. Mario” and “Paperboy”, brentalfloss gave the videogames a humorous lyrical spin becoming an instant hit among videogame fans young and old. His first CD “What if This CD…Had Lyrics?” became a hit among the nerd community, spanning 20 tracks and covering everything from “Ducktales” to a parody of “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger about Mario, a brentalfloss army of followers was born. Joining up with Screwattack.com, brentalfloss would take the nerd world by storm with other internet icons such as, “The Angry Videogame Nerd”.
Now before we go any further, I know what you’re wondering, “Nick, why do you keep spelling his name with a lower case ’b’?” Well my fine feathered reader, brentalfloss’s name is officially in lowercase no matter what part of the sentence it is in or how it is used, unless it’s in all caps to look important. To quote brentalfloss’s official site (brentalfloss.com) “And yes, his name is officially uncapitalized. You can also make it all caps so it looks IMPORTANT. The uncapitalized thing makes English teachers upset, especially when sentences start with his name. brentalfloss don’t care.” With that fun fact out of the way let’s continue back to his CDs.
Following his first CD, brentalfloss re-released the “What if This CD…Had Lyrics?” but with all the words removed, a karaoke album called “What if This CD…Didn’t Have Lyrics?” With seven less songs then the previous title, this new album became not only a fun CD to sing along to but a great set of instrumentals that mimicked the videogame themes they were inspired by. Then, immediately following his second album, brentalfloss released “The Super-Secret EP” in May 2011. A six track album, brentalfloss begins with a song for his teacher “Mr. Carey Christenberry” followed by a song for girl confessing his love for her called “It’s Time I told You” all leading up to the climax in “The Pussycat Song”, a song all about the life of brentalfloss as a stray cat. With only six tracks in all, each song is a unique piano melody, filled with heartfelt lyrics. One track called “Two Waltzes and a Love Theme” is a two and a half minute piano melody that needs no lyrics as it can emotionally move you with the music alone.
As you may have noticed, my possibly sock-wearing reader, with this aforementioned album I have not once mentioned videogames or a cartoon or a parody of some kind. Well my observant friend, it is here that brentalfloss uses each track to play about something personal or relatable to the listener, even if some of it is still taken into the comical slant. Each song has an original melody behind the lyrics allowing, at least to my ears, a feeling of personal connection to each song. Yes, in the previous albums, the songs were funny and had a sense of originality to them but removing the parodies and videogame connection, the songs gained a sense of greater feeling. In brentalfloss’s first album, the songs flow seamlessly track to track, videogame to videogame, then the song “Corey” comes on or the song “Good Example”. These songs, more the former then the latter, have a much more personal touch to them as he sings about something that comes from his life and about people he knows. “Corey” is all about a girl from Screwattack.com and “Good Example” is about a nice guy from Ohio. This is all just this mild mannered writer’s opinion though.
Moving on, brentalfloss returns with the re-re-release of his first album yet again but this time “What if This CD…Had G-RATED Lyrics?” That’s right, brentalfloss returned to the Nerd Rock world by cleaning up his first albums adult content and language so kids like his nephews could listen to it without their parents lowering the volume at key points and for people who want to listen to his music in everyday situations without worrying if some one may get offended by the content. 19 tracks (18 in reality, the first is the “Boring Parental Disclaimer”), the album generally covers the majority of the first with the exception of “The End” and “The Roommate Song”, two tracks that could not be changed without taking away from the quality and message behind them. The album itself is very well done. In comparison to the original, the humor is still constant and it is extremely enjoyable to listen to. In place of curses, brentalfloss uses lines such as “Supercalafragalisti-”, “Pwned”, and “Valued Friend and Engineer”. Being the re-re-release of his original album, “What if This CD…Had G-RATED Lyrics?” is a perfect addition to his line of work, with a simple change to the lyrics in select places, I would consider this a completely different album from the original and a must have for fans of the original.
As of September 2011, brentalfloss released one last album into the media containing one song, “STDs: Gotta Catch’em All! (Youtube Version)”. You read that right my confused reader, STDs. Taken straight from his Youtube account; this song became an instant hit with high demands for it to be open for download to the public. Lasting two minutes and eight seconds, the song opens with the classic Pokemon theme “Gotta Catch’em All” preparing Pokemon fans to sing along, then takes a left turn beginning with “I wanna get Chlamydia! Like no one’s ever had!” letting you know you’re in for a strange ride through the rest of this song. brentalfloss takes the role of “Ash Ketchum” singing about catching all the STDs in the land. This type of humor may not be for everyone but I always leave this song laughing hysterically and enjoy every bit of it. This is a perfect addition to the brentalfloss library of adult content parodies, fitting in perfectly with another one of my favorites, “Dr. Mario”.
brentalfloss is a lyrical genius, crafting creative and clever songs about classic videogame characters in ways I know I personally could never have imagined. Even on his own creations like those from “The Super-Secret LP”, he crafts masterpieces that show the creative ability of those leading the way in the Nerd Rock musical genre. Being a New York City local I had the pleasure of meeting brentalfloss in person once and not only is his music hysterical but he is an extremely cool and funny person to talk to. He has also done something I can’t wait to see in the future from others in the Nerd Rock community, he worked side-by-side with other musicians to improve upon their own songs as well as creating one of a kind original pieces. Most famously, brentalfloss worked with The Megas; crafting “Gotta Run/Be the One”, a song based on the game Mega Man 2. Speaking of The Megas, like brentalfloss, they too use the music from videogames to create their own music but they focus in on only one game series, Mega Man. Now dear reader (especially you in the back with the hat), I shall discuss more on The Megas in the following article.
Until then read, comment, enjoy, and eat cookies.