Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad: Gamer ‘Shaping Staff’


Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad is a column which sees a panel of writers for The Corner review a range of local singles and grade them out of 10. Check out the song below, read through their opinions and let us know in the comments section your own thoughts and what you’d like to see reviewed next time around.

[YouTube / Bandcamp]

[Grade: 8.0]

Sean Quay: I really like this – the Vangelis / early 90’s video game vibe is cool and the serious and dark tone is appealing. There are a lot of examples of music recalling this era but the emphasis often falls on the trappings rather than the substance: Gamer seems to have attained an appropriate balance with this track. Great. [8]

Stephen Clover: I can’t get enough of this spot-on piece of moody, ominous coldwave instrumental synthesism and its accompanying stunner of a video, which is I think the best 80s-nostalgia trip viddy I have seen to date. Lost in my reverie, I could watch it all day — and I intend to try. [8]

Luke Jacobs: Normally I don’t comment on the video but I loved this. I am very much a product of the time period it is referencing and I will not deny there is a heady amount of dangerous nostalgia around it. But I loved everything about the presentation of this video and it fitted the mood of the song so well they almost seem inseparable.

The song is a bit repetitive and kind of thin sounding at times when it should be dynamic and menacing. Gamer’s contemporaries like Gatekeeper or Teams have this duality in spades. But for it’s faults it has some rich moments. The synth lead is sleazy and biting enough to keep me going and the end of the song is just plain gorgeous, those last ten seconds make it all worth while. [8]

Andrew B. White: This is cool – yes it’s synthesised video game music very much in the vein of Daft Punk’s “Tron” Soundtrack, if not an obvious copy. Nothing particularly special about another pulsing piece of music like this but it fits with the accompanying video clip (all 8 bit styles) and is nicely recorded. Won’t set the world alight as it is but within the context of a sequence of clips, or as a soundtrack, it’s cool. [6]

Hayden Currie: Here’s a hopeful view of the future. From a pair of 80s kids who grew up surrounded by Sega cartridges and VHS cassettes of Tron, The Terminator, Blade Runner, Robocop… familiar images, forever frozen in television time, of a future in which we all disappear into our TV screens, become bits and bytes, and escape our collapsing cities for an endless 8 bit game played by all globalised nations. Driven to the edge of the known universe by dirty synths and a desire for harder, better, faster, stronger. And more… More… In space, the final frontier, where no one can hear you scream. Inner space: worlds within worlds within worlds within worlds. Spiral galaxies spin off into infinity. Neon signs flash on in dark corners of your mind. The hands of the clock slow to a slug’s pace but time never completely stops. Viewed over centuries, our civilizations spread and pile up across the blue planet like so much garbage. Industrial waste. Farms and factories. Rise and fall… we finally really did it. You MANIACS! You BLEW IT UP! Oh, DAMN YOU! Goddamn you all to HELL!… Maybe it’s what we wanted all along. Final test of our powers. Tesla coil to the powerless. You don’t matter! In fact, in just a few seconds you won’t even BE matter! Death ray to the face, vibrate, atoms scatter. These phasers go up to 11. [11]


  1. Michael McClelland says:


  2. holmes says:

    at first i thought the video didn’t resemble anything i remember playing (unlike the clips by Danger, for example) but by fuck, that’s a brilliant little clip.

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