Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"Don't turn your back on the city.."
September 16, 2009 4:23 AM   Subscribe

The Protomen [previously] in 2005 released the most geektastic dystopian nightmare of a MegaMan based rock opera anyone could have possibly conceived. After four years, they have finally released a followup album: Act II: The Father Of Death

Obsessive fans have been clamoring over the details of the story, which serves as a prequel to the events of the debut album.

Without revealing too many details, it details the working relationship between Dr. Thomas Light and Dr. Albert Wily as it deteriorates, as Wily goes mad and takes the life of the only woman Dr. Light ever loved, frames Dr. Light for the crime and forces him into exile and his eventual return to the city and attempt to save it, setting the stage for the story of the first album.

Musically, the band has changed from electronic/indie mashup sounds of their first album to a first rate Wagnerian Rock band that Jim Steinman would be proud of. As evidenced by tracks like "Light Up The Night", the band has adopted a distinctly epic 80's soundtrack style which fits their theatrical music perfectly.

Other album tracks (though it is a disservice not to listen to the album as a whole):

"The Good Doctor"
"The Hounds"
"Breaking Out"
posted by mediocre (31 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh Hell yes!
posted by munchingzombie at 4:56 AM on September 16, 2009


Oh wow. Thanks for alerting me to a MegaMan-based rock opera! Listening to it now. This will make for a good day...
posted by This Guy at 5:10 AM on September 16, 2009


Took them less time than it took Daft Punk.
posted by LSK at 5:29 AM on September 16, 2009


YES
posted by penduluum at 5:43 AM on September 16, 2009


Rock.

It feels like they've come full circle with tracks like Light Up The Night - it's heavily flavoured with an early 90s Capcom soundtrack vibe. You only have to listen to tunes from Megaman X like the awesome Spark Mandrill or Boomer Kerwanger themes to realise that these chaps aren't mere super-ironic poseurs - they give every impression of possessing a genuine love for their source material. And who can blame them?
posted by RokkitNite at 6:21 AM on September 16, 2009


Oh .... wow... this is amazing.

From a pair of comments on Light Up The Night: It's like if Bruce Springsteen were a robot. Correction, If Bruce Springsteen, Top Gun, and the people behind the songs in the animated transformers movie were a single robot.

I could not agree more (the Transformers soundtrack still gets regular play on my stereo).
posted by ish__ at 6:57 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Halfway through Light Up The Night, I had the strangest compulsion to track down my Top Gun soundtrack cassette so I could blast Highway To The Danger Zone at full volume.

This rules.
posted by Mali at 7:13 AM on September 16, 2009


If you think about it, the nature of this really makes sense. It's a prequel to the first album, and therefore it SHOULD sound like the music of a prequel timeframe, so the 80s operock feel is perfect.

(Incidentally, if you haven't listen to the first one, it's really an excellent treatise on the nature of heroism and the loss of faith in your cause.)
posted by mephron at 7:18 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mr. Arkham and I saw The Protomen opening for Peelander-Z a few years back. Any band that can make us both go "what...the...HELL?" has a fan for life.
posted by JoanArkham at 7:24 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Love these guys. If you ever get to see them live, do it. They're a hell of a band. I've really got to put up the video I took of them at Bit Genocide this year.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:31 AM on September 16, 2009


Just adding my vote of support. Long live the Protomen, and thanks for the great post.
posted by jake at 7:44 AM on September 16, 2009


YESSSSSS

I downloaded the album from Amazon the other day, and yesterday, started listening to the first track while walking to the subway. I ended up listening to the whole album while I just walked around for an hour. Thanks so much for posting this.

I've listened to the final track, "Here Comes The Arm", about twenty times today.

Emily, the crowd has gathered here.
Once again they fail to see
You can't just set the world at someone else's feet
and not get trampled underneath.

I think somehow Joe knew it,
paid the price he thought had to pay.
But Emily, that death was meant for me.
The Dead was meant for me.

This is not the world my father knew.
This is not the world I know he would have wanted me to build.
But I can't undo it now; it's like a train, and all its cars are filled with steel,
that I would stop if I knew how.

It is bearing down on me,
So I will stand here with my shoulders square and tall;
When the whistle blows not falter;
When the crash comes I will fall.

With so much steam and steel behind it
I won't slow it down at all.

Oh god...
Oh god...

Here comes the arm.

posted by Greg Nog at 8:06 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I mean, look at Megaman's appearance. So 80s.
posted by ersatz at 8:27 AM on September 16, 2009


I (also) saw them open for Peelander-Z last year, in Baltimore.
I can't speak for the albums, but the show was pretty meh.
A lot of effort and props, with mediocre execution.
posted by stifford at 9:46 AM on September 16, 2009


Fantastic!
posted by lumensimus at 10:05 AM on September 16, 2009


certain of us bearded types were helped through the wait by the whiskerino 2007 theme song, Beards Going Nowhere.

"Don't give up / Don't give in
Without a beard you know you'll never win"

posted by songfromme at 10:09 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Greg Nog - Listening to this album, the band has decided to make Light a ridiculously tragic figure. The torment that he goes through by the machinations of Wily by the end of the second album would drive a man to madness. Light has lost his love, his meaning (robots), his first son (Protoman), his second son has lost the will to live. The broken down man who is about to kill himself in "Here Comes The Arm" before he becomes resolute with "Work to do" by the end of the song is easy to see as the man desperately clinging to what little spark is left in his run down tenement twenty floors above the city 12 years after this album in the year 200X when he pleads with MegaMan not to fight Wily with an anguished cry of "You are all that I have left!"
posted by mediocre at 10:53 AM on September 16, 2009


I have never heard of this band before, but the album cover is a riff on the Streets of Fire artwork, which is all I need to know.

Damn, I loved Streets of Fire (for all its flaws) and if these guys are calling that out as one of their artistic influences, I am there! Question: given that this is a "prequel" to the first album, in which order should a newcomer listen to them?
posted by Naberius at 10:55 AM on September 16, 2009


Also, further supporting my theory that the band has been seriously studying at the church of Jim Steinman.. The cover of this album bears a distinct resemblance to the poster for Streets Of Fire, for which Steinman composed a number of songs.
posted by mediocre at 11:10 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Damn! Beat to the punch in my Streets Of Fire revelation by my obsessive need to link every damn thought I have connected to a comment..
posted by mediocre at 11:12 AM on September 16, 2009


I'd heard of this before, but back then the first album was only available on plastic and I'd stopped buying physical albums except for rare exceptions on stringent arbitrary tests that they didn't pass.

So this morning, it led me rapidly to discover that both were available at amazon's mp3 store, and after listening to the first, I immediately bought the second too. I can recognize earworms when they hook into my brain that strongly.

"Unrest in the House of Light" on the first album might well be one of the most heartwrenching songs in my library. Which wasn't what I was expecting from any work sourced to Mega Man lore, but there it is. Life is wonderfully surprising sometimes!
posted by Drastic at 11:16 AM on September 16, 2009


>I'd heard of this before, but back then the first album was only available on plastic and I'd stopped buying physical albums except for rare exceptions on stringent arbitrary tests that they didn't pass.

Just in case anyone is wondering, their first album is now on iTunes.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:23 AM on September 16, 2009


Hey! One of these guys is a friend of mine!
posted by sourwookie at 11:25 AM on September 16, 2009


Me too, sourwookie! Rad to see them on the blue.
posted by barrett caulk at 11:42 AM on September 16, 2009


The broken down man who is about to kill himself in "Here Comes The Arm" before he becomes resolute with "Work to do" by the end of the song is easy to see as the man desperately clinging to what little spark is left in his run down tenement twenty floors above the city 12 years after this album in the year 200X when he pleads with MegaMan not to fight Wily with an anguished cry of "You are all that I have left!"

I'm quite curious to see what the liner notes & stage directions are like in the physical copy of the album, because just listening to the song, the vision I have at the end of "Here Comes The Arm" is a flash-forward of Light in his workshop after the last events of Act I, maddened and determined and fueled by thoughts of Emily; as the instrumental end of the song swells, he assembles Roll, his final robot child.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:47 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah! The first album is a favorite of mine. Especially the first and third tracks. I hope this one is just as good.
posted by painquale at 12:09 PM on September 16, 2009


eMusic has this album too. sort of makes up for their new subscription plan
posted by pantsrobot at 1:23 PM on September 16, 2009


One of those guys is a former student of mine. Thrilled to see an FPP and facebook splatter these past two days; certainly cannot wait when they come back to town!
posted by psylosyren at 2:43 PM on September 16, 2009


Highway To The Danger Zone

Funny you should mention this... I saw them at Bonnaroo, and they closed with a cover of this song, featuring their hype man standing atop the drumset, waving an enormous American flag.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:49 PM on September 16, 2009


In case you can't tell by my previous comment, The Protomen are AMAZING live.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 3:20 PM on September 16, 2009


"The Hounds" seems to be Radar Love.
posted by smcameron at 9:02 PM on September 16, 2009


« Older The £10 breakfast. Why is it £10? Because there is...  |  Horses on a Seaside Holiday.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments