It can’t slow down!
Sometimes, all you need is a catchy chiptune to get you through the day. Computer Savvy by The J. Arthur Keenes Band delivers seven of them! The album clocks in at just under 25 minutes, which is fortuitous because it will likely be on repeat for you. Each track combines guitars, Game Boy-derived chiptunes, and wonderfully hazy vocals to create a unique sound that hits just right. It’s a bit hard to explain in words, but you’ll know what I mean after just one listen.
Starting off strong with The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down, some light guitar and a fun droning bassline quickly give way to wonderfully fuzzy synths and Game Boy blips and blops. Moving on to the somehow even more energetic track Cluck, the guitars aren’t nearly as present, but the fast pace of the track means you won’t even notice they’re gone. Expelling Bee comes later in the album, and is unique because of the interesting bridge that is thrown in.
The chiptunes take a back seat to an eerie guitar sound, which slowly fades out and into the next song. Each and every track on the album is crafted impeccably, and squeezes a lot of life out of the ancient Game Boy’s sound chips. Even if there weren’t any vocals to go with these tunes, the album would be one of my favorites. With the addition of frontman/only band member Daniel McLay‘s unique voice on top though, and it becomes an instant classic.
The album is available absolutely free from the 8bitpeople’s website, or a higher quality version is available for $5, plus a bonus track. The album is also available on Bandcamp for $5, with the ability to buy a CD for $8. I highly, highly recommend this album, and that comes as no faint praise from me. Check out the first track on the album below: