If you don’t know what a “Power Glove” is, you were probably born after 1990.
History Lesson: The Power Glove (I still have one) was a gaming controller marketed by Mattel in the US (Pax in Japan) that got kids like myself to harass our parents into a trip to Toys R Us with the promise of looking like a little bad-ass while playing games on the original NES (that’s Nintendo Entertainment System for all you youngsters).
The glove did look pretty cool, but it really didn’t accomplish jack-shit for gaming purposes. Only two games made specifically for it ever came out (and sucked), and playing your normal assortment of NES cartridges with it was a huge pain in the ass.
For the true power of the glove, simply watch the epic Fred Savage-starrer THE WIZARD (which also starred Jenny Lewis, who is now the singer of RILO KILEY). Strap one on, and you’ll look as cool as “Zack the LEGO Maniac.”
Twenty years later…
POWERGLOVE is the name adopted by a band of “video game metallers,” who’ve built a solid cult following with symphonic metal covers of their favorite video game themes. Not content with staying planted in the 8-bit world, the band has readied itself for a SATURDAY MORNING APOCALYPSE. Their new album (out September 28, 2010 via E1) pays tribute to a time when television networks (not cable, streaming, or YouTube, n00bs) actually had blocks of kick-ass animated programming on Saturday mornings.
Billed as a collection of “1980’s cartoon themes,” I’ve corrected this fact in every news item we’ve posted here on this site. For example, POKEMON didn’t emerge until 1996, and Tim Burton’s THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS was A) Not a Saturday Morning cartoon, and B) Was first released theatrically in 1993. Despite a few errors in marketing like these, SATURDAY MORNING APOCALYPSE is a pretty cool album for a musically under-served market of nostalgic nerds and animation fans that happen to dig metal as well.
Listeners will likely find that their favorite tracks will be those of the shows/movies they liked the most. For me, “Inspector Gadget,” “Transformers,” Danny Elfman’s themes for 1989’s BATMAN and Fox’ THE SIMPSONS (the latter of which I’m guilty of covering as well) along with “This is Halloween” from the above-mentioned NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, and “The Flintstones” are the winners here.
Later fare like two versions of POKEMON’s “Gotta Catch Em All” (one instrumental, one with vocals by SONATA ARCTICA’s Tony Kakko), and the Winnie the Pooh track “Heffalumps and Woozles” (I grew up in an era were those creatures were not native to The Hundred Acre Wood), don’t do much for me.
SATURDAY MORNING APOCALYPSE is a novelty for sure, but one worth having. It makes for some interesting conversation.