By Michelle Leah
READY, SET, GO!!! An iconic setup scene for every video game known to man. Or at least it used to be before PlayStation or Xbox had to go and destroy everything sacred that made games like Donkey Kong or Super Mario Brothers so lovable But I digress, and thought bubble something even more legendary, the music behind the video games. Even now, I bet your imagining the theme song to the Super Mario Brothers. It’s the kind of theme song that never leaves your head. The kind of music that outlines what kind of game you’re going to be playing. From beginning to end it’s energetic, dramatic, touching and sweet and finally, FINISH HIM!!! Music that you secretly wish could be the theme song to your life. But what if even for forty five bitter sweet moments, you could have your own video game soundtrack?
High school and college kids of the world united during a week of proms and graduations. And what better way to celebrate for some then to spend an evening on South Street in one of the most legendary hot spots for local bands, the Legendary Dobbs. Hours before hitting the stage, The Power’s lead singer Jarret Magierowski received his diploma from Rowan University. With diploma signed and the realization that all the never ending theses and red bull- induced all nighters were not for nothing, rather than plop himself on the couch with a Coke in one hand and a controller in the other, Magierowski brought himself out the fantasy realm. With help from his own elf, dwarf and wizard, Magierowski’s musical life becomes a video game reality and The Power have the power to save the world from musical destruction.
Conquering foes from Flemington, New Jersey, an earlier version of the band began as Strike a Violent Pose in 2008. From then until 2009, David Cudworth on bass and vocals, Rob Vocke on guitar and the “Baby Spice” of the band Kyle Lamers, for the fact that he is the youngest, came along and discovered that together they had a synchronicity that could stand through any battle they may have to face. Although their look is very laid back with simple t-shirt and jeans, it is their attitude when playing that screams something different.. According to their Facebook page, the band finds inspiration from Hall and Oats. Who doesn’t love Hall and Oats, and if they tell you they don’t, they’re lying.
Anyway, while they may not be wearing 80s mullets or oversized dinner jackets with shoulder pads, vocally, Magierowski and Cudworth have harmonies that mirror some of the inspirations they are trying to reflect. As for the fawning admiration from 80s hair bands audiences, the guys joke, “we want to make music that will have girls screaming.” In all seriousness, the guys take to heart something believed by most bands, whether you like their music or not, making the music is a very personal thing and it is something they are all passionate about, “. . . 80% belongs to Dave, as the band’s composer. 10% Jarret, Rob, and Kyle and 10% as a collective.” There is something almost philosophical about the reality surrounding the fantasy, “our music is made to breed happiness.”
Your avatar is complete with a kick-ass costume and a heavy metal weapon. All you need know is the perfect song to get your blood pumping. “Shane Sings Five Octaves to Save Mankind” is just the song to prepare you for battle. Please don’t ask who Shane is, for the privacy of the aforementioned there will be no real names will be used in this paragraph. As for the music itself, fast fingers create a fast past song. The energy of Magierowski’s and Vocke’s chords matches that of the energy one may experience while emerged in the gaming world. Lamers’ drumming can only be described as intense and hard hitting. However, the most captivating element of the song, is the band’s interaction. Battle of the Bands becomes an internal power when Magierowski and Vocke face off, with friendly fire of course, their fingers almost sending smoke through the strings and steely chords. Only to end abruptly before being smacked in the face by some big bad.
We all expect to lose a battle or two; walking away from a fight unscathed is not a reality. But in true underdog fashion, there is always one more fight left somewhere within us. “Sports at the Gates of the Golden City” is the penultimate fight song, and quite possibly the band’s best song. There might be some chagrin for the very fact that this song has the least amount of vocals, but rather reflects the bands most impressive instrumental skills. Vocke’s electric solo and complicated chord progressions sends a wave of energy for Lamers’ powerful playing and passionately destructive presentation. It was around this time, that I also noticed something glowing on Cudworth’s bass. Upon closer inspection, it’s a series of LEDs that spell out POWER. This is like Sting or Buster Sword or Frostmourne or Anduril, or Sword of Gryffindor, the list is never ending, but I think you get the picture. This is the thing that drives it all home; the music gets faster and louder as your heart feels like it’s going to burst out of your chest. You’re jumping up and down because you’re just about to defeat the Orcs or eviscerate Holy after he has completely destroyed all human life or annihilate a Basilisk before the Chamber of Secrets closes forever! Whew, sorry, I thought most people took gaming as seriously as. . . never mind The point is, when all is said and done, and the final song “The Room” with its Beatles-esque minute long note makes you no longer feel like the underdog, but rather the hero of your own adventure, it’s GAME OVER.
Currently, The Power is working on finishing their first LP and beginning to take over the east coast in their first roaming tour. Sticking to their weapons about the passion for their craft., “. . . most people play music to become popular, but we play to simply make good music.” When the album becomes available for purchase, it is one that you will want to play again. . . 3. . . 2. . . 1.