E1 MAKES A PLAY FOR THE VIDEOGAME MARKET
Well, not quite… but the announcement that the label has signed “videogame metallers” Powerglove does come as something of a surprise.
E1 has built up a business model over the past 3 years predicated on signing established metal acts that already have a fanbase of a certain size or greater — see: In Flames, Overkill, Hatebreed, Darkest Hour, High on Fire, Satyricon, Kittie — and while the label has taken a couple of stabs at developing new metal acts, they’ve largely missed (see: Arkaea and Dirge Within). The notable exceptions are Straight Line Stitch — who, though we may hate to admit it, have built something of a following for themselves in states that voted for Bush in ’00 and ’04 — and Zoroaster, who have yet to release an album on the label.
But I like when labels take chances, and signing a band like Powerglove should definitely be considered a chance for a label that specializes on signing sure things.
Powerglove aren’t a new band — they’ve been around since 2005, released an EP and a full-length and toured the U.S. with Dragonforce and Turisas. But most notably their brand of nerd metal is pretty well-known on the nerd-friendly Internet, where their metal interpretations of classic videogame themes have drawn quite a bit of attention.
Anything NES-related certainly isn’t going to draw any complaints from this guy; I grew up on the system and have it tucked away in a box at the MS Mansion to this day (really ought to plug it back in). But the very concept of a band who traffics solely in videogame music begs the question “How long can a band like this last?” I think it goes without saying that eventually Powerglove will have to move away from the videogame shtick and into their own territory; I’d imagine that even their die-hard fans could grow tired of hearing metallified 8-bit music. But they’ve definitely got a unique sound, plenty of chops and the potential to be something very cool. A label like E1 could be the perfect place to develop, and hey, if that development is coming at the expense of benjamins earned by terrible bands like Dope and Kittie, I’m all for it.