Retrospective Review: Starbomb - Starbomb

There's only one real rule for these retrospective reviews on this website, and it's that the album being reviewed has to be over 10 years old. That way, it has been out long enough for some kind of legacy to build, for it to have some significant place in music history - whether that's for better or for worse. There is no point in reviewing anything too recent, as it hasn't yet had the chance to go down in history as some kind of musical landmark.

But it's time to break that rule. In 2013, YouTube stars Dan 'Danny Sexbang' Avidan, Brian 'NinjaBrian' Wecht (both of Ninja Sex Party) and Arin 'Egoraptor' Hanson came together (well, they already were together on popular YouTube series Game Grumps) to form Starbomb, a comedy music act that focussed on lyrics parodying video games. These lyrics were often full of sexual innuendo, violence and over-the-top, NSFW content, despite the child-friendly nature of many of the games in question.

By their very nature, then, Starbomb are unique, and not only that - they're absolutely brilliant. Every single facet of this album, from the raps to the music, is outstanding. The lyrics in 'I Choose You to Die' squeeze in as many Pokémon as possible, the entire vibe of 'It's Dangerous to go Alone' is best described as ice cool, and 'Rap Battle: Ryu vs. Ken' goes harder, faster and funnier than anything that should be allowed on an album made by YouTubers.

It's hard to pigeon-hole them into a genre, as they're a curous mix of Hip-Hop and Synthpop, but perhaps we can create a bit of a portmanteau here and say that Starbomb are a Synth-Hop band. The thing is, though the purpose of the band is clearly comedic in nature, it's impossible to ignore the genuine musical quality of this record. The raps are delivered with pace and power, the melodic vocals are really quite wonderful to listen to (and often produced nicely with two takes panned either side), and again, the instrumentation is sublime.

There's no "but" here, no "this track isn't as good as this track". The album is consistently solid throughout, a fact that may be aided by each song's short run time. The longest song on here is a mere 2:50 long, with the whole 13-song jam session comes to an end in well under half an hour of your day. This isn't a criticism; each song feels quick and concise without feeling rushed, which is really the perfect mix. But it's all so good that you're inevitably left wanting more, at which point its short length becomes both a blessing and a curse.

My personal favourites are 'Crasher-vania' and 'Regretroid', but every song on here will be someone's favourite as they're all that good. No, this album doesn't exactly have the legendary status of some of the other album we have reviewed retrospectively, but its unique background and sheer quality far outweigh that. We aren't breaking the 10-year rule for nothing.

If you're into video games, comedy, Synthpop, Hip-Hop or just good music, give Starbomb's self-titled debut a go. You'll be laughing, you'll be raving, and at one point during 'Sonic's Best Pal', there's a good chance you'll be headbanging too. If you fancy hearing about Megaman's marital problems, Tails' true nature of being a vicious murderer or Ash Ketchum's betrayal of Pikachu and said Pokémon's brutal revenge, then it's your lucky day. Starbomb have got you covered, and they do it in style.



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