8 Bands That Sound Like Nintendo Games
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Back in the late 2000s/early 2010s, a Music phenomenon that was very short lived swept the globe by combining the sounds of Heavy Metal and Punk with the 8 bit soundtracks from our Childhoods. And thus, Nintendocore was born!
Let’s do a deep dive into 8 Bands who helped shape the Musical landscape of Nintendocore.
1. We Butter the Bread with Butter
Hailing from Lubben, Germany and sporting the most logical name a metal band can come up with, We Butter the Bread with Butter was founded in 2007 by Marcel Neumann and Tobias Schultka.
Originally meant as a joke, We Butter the Bread with Butter is primarily a Deathcore band known for incorporating a cacophony with electronic sounds and noises. The band has since evolved as a Duo into a more serious Quartet that has performed all over Europe.
We Butter the Bread with Butter are known for keeping their songs primarily in German and are amongst the Heaviest Bands on this list and the Nintendocore genre as a whole. After a brief spat of the vocalist leaving the band, I’m happy to report that We Butter the Bread with Butter are still together.
To get a feel for their style, I would recommend 2013 release “Goldkinder” which featured the albums first single Pyroman and Astronaut which hit #16 on the German MetalRock charts.
2. Horse the Band
Hailing from Lake Forrest, CA and sporting the most ridiculous name in recent memory, HORSE THE BAND formed in 1998 when founding members Erik Engstrom and David Isen were attending the same High School.
Originally starting with the idea to emulate Traditional Hardcore Punk, Horse the Band eventually devolved into Hardcore Punk meets Castlevania Nintendo Soundtrack sounding band. The band’s career spanned over a decade when the band eventually called a Hiatus in 2011.
Since then their shows have been sporadic at best but that doesn’t stop these Nintendocore originators from announcing short tours at a whim whilst continuing to remain a huge influence on Post-Hardcore, Metalcore and Traditional Hardcore bands today.
To get a feel for their style, I would recommend 2005’s release “The Mechanical Hand” which was Produced by Matt Bayles (Mastodon/Isis/Minus the Bear).
Out of the ashes of two bands no one has heard of comes soloist Pete Bunke who creates, records, and remixes under the pseudonym Monomate. Bunke hails from Portland, Oregon – the land where all good 8 bit sprites go to die.
Although, now concentrating on Remixing and Dance music (because that’s where the real money is), Monomate was once Bunke’s outlet for all things heavy and Nintendocore sounding. Despite having moved on from the screamo meets Sonic the Hedgehog on speed style that Monomate was known for you can still stream and purchase his older albums.
To get a feel for the old Monomate style, I would recommend 2010’s release “Grand Battle” which was self released.
Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania and boasting the most immature band name in recent memory comes Dinotrax. Presumably together since 2009 as that’s when their first release, There Will Be Bears, Dinotrax boasts ferocious growls and screams that are topped off by an endless ensemble of 8 and 16 bit sounding guitars and keys.
2011’s release, “Rearranging Patterns,” is easily the most mature release and also happens to be the last album Dinotrax put out. Including a style that sounds like These Arms Are Snakes and the Boss Stage of every Nintendo game ever thrown into a blender. The resulting mince meat that comes out is a delectable mess of Nintendocore brilliance.
At time of writing this article and according to Spotify, Dinotrax continue to enjoy 439 Worldwide Listeners. Not bad for an underground band that seemed to close their books almost a decade ago.
5. As the World Fades
As the World Fades are an interesting entry into the annals of Nintendocore. Their style isn’t driven by 8 bit keys like most of this list. More so, they take the Chimaira route in using the keys to provide a little ambience and elevate the atmospheric creep feel.
From what I could find they didn’t seem to have much in the way of releases, however, their Lyric Video “Sink Your Teeth” is a great indication of how the band might’ve gone with a release in this style.
An amusing anecdote to mention is wherever this band updates their bio, display pic or video it seems to be closely followed by some running jokes by fans at the band’s expense. Just head to their Facebook or Youtube to get a taste.
6. Sky Eats Airplane
It’s hard to find a Nintendocore band that measures up to the success that HORSE the band did. There’s little middle ground in measuring the effect that half the bands on this list had on the overarching Music Industry. Still, if any band on this list is the working class man’s Nintendocore outfit then it was easily Sky Eats Airplane.
Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas and with a career spanning 6 massive years – at this point I’m just happy they have a Wikipedia page because to hell with all these bands and no websites.
Sky Eats Airplane was signed to indie label Equal Vision Records and most recently released their self-titled full-length album through the label in July 2008. However, in March 2012 they announced an indefinite hiatus, a hiatus which (at this stage) seems quite definite.
Sky Eats Airplane are probably the most easily digestible and mainstream of all the bands on this list as evidenced by the above film clip for single “Numbers.” The clean, almost Nintendo sounding guitar solos, are about as close to Nintendocore as this band got.
Checkout the Full Length album “Sound of Symmetry” on Youtube.
7. Dungeon Elite
Dungeon Elite answers the question “What if Mindless Self Indulgence had written Pop Punk and added Nintendo Sound Effects?” These are the questions that keep you up at night.
Hailing from Novara, Italy and claiming to be Electro Metal, Dungeon Elite are a three piece who, according to European Heavy Metal website Spirit of Metal – are all Vocalists. Umm okay sure.
This is where, upon listening to the above track, it’ll all start to make sense. Here’s a band who rely largely on pre-programming and whose instruments are their laptops. Which, given the style, I can get on board with except with one tiny problem – Pop Punk.
Unfortunately for you Pop Punk fans out there, the band has since adopted more of an Electronic Dance sound. So if you’re looking for anything from Dungeon Elite that sounds like anything remotely Nintendo then check out “Make Love Not Warcraft.”
The band in question, 100 Dead, formerly known as 100DeadRabbits touts themselves as creators of Video Game inspired Murder Music. An apt description if I’ve heard any.
Hailing from Orange, CA – 100DeadRabbits have left a lasting legacy on the Orange County music scene. Even now their music on youtube gets a barrage of fans celebrating the band who hasn’t updated their Facebook page since 2018.
100 Dead seem to fit somewhere in the realm of if European Metal Band Raunchy had inappropriate relations with any Deathcore band. If anything, go check them out and grab one of their cool looking T-shirt designs if you’re so inclined. Their merch store at least seems to still be active.