Review Summary: "Saturday Morning Apocalypse" is like McDonald's. Sure that Big Mac tastes good, but a steady diet of it will make you sick.
I take a decent amount of pride in my brazen nerdisms. I've played my fair share of Nintendo, and have more than jumped on each trading card trend (along with the television shows and video games that accompanied them.) So when I heard about Powerglove, I did a mild geek out. True, "Saturday Morning Apocalypse" has been my first exposure of the band. But really, metal renditions of some of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons? Throwing all caution to the wind, I jumped. I jumped headlong into the glucose filled, care free moments of my younger and more vulnerable years. Sitting blankly in front of the television early on Saturday, watching daring deeds of dastardly do, and the heroics of my two dimensional idols. Well to be quite honest, I'm a sucker for nostalgia. Pokemon? Check. Batman? Check? Transformers, even? Check. The re-visitation of these "classics" in metal form sounded almost too good to be true.
Unfortunately, it was.
Powerglove derive their name from the Nintendo Entertainment Peripheral, the "powerglove." And yes, the band are as over top and ridiculous as that very gimmicky idea. Playing a very stylized form of "nintendocore," Powerglove utilize power metal aesthetics along with a myriad of digital sounds. However, unlike most bands in their genre, the usage of "8-bit" sounds are not so prevalent. Instead, the band has a solid metal background, with the electronica elements being used for detailing. Everything is pretty solid as far as production and overall sound are concerned, but Powerglove simply do not rise to the occasion with their songwriting. While it is true that these songs have already been written, (some while these young men were still in adolescence mind you) the band just does little, if anything to add their own flavor and personality. Yeah, they're Saturday morning cartoon themes with a power metal twist. Trust me, they make that fact painfully obvious. There just is very little else to offer in the way of originality. Powerglove's contemporaries will take the tune being emulated, and make something new, something fresh. With the original tune as a background, bands will add their own character to the overall song. And this why other acts are much more interesting. Powerglove, to put it simply, are a metal cover band, lacking in creativity and personality. Period. Instead of adding their own character to these songs, Powerglove, copy, rather than emulate. And you can believe that things get boring rather quickly.
Yet to give credit where credit is due, Powerglove are a technically talented band. The band can play very quickly, keeping the pace going throughout, which helps keep things mildly interesting. Some of the sweeps would be pretty great, had the entire album not been constructed around them. It just comes off sounding like a cheap ploy to sound overly technical, while at the same time, accentuating their metal aesthetics. To put it rather bluntly, sweeps these days are all too commonly overused, and Powerglove does absolutely nothing to refute that. While we're on the subject of the genre's stereotyping, is there tapping? Of course, there's plenty of that. Palm mutes? Did you even have to ask? Unfortunately, everything is unforgivably generic. Truly, there is little to say about the songs. If you have ever heard of any of these tunes, you will know what is here; metal versions of cartoon themes, plain and simple. There are no vocals so to speak, except for the second version of "Gotta Catch Em' All" a short segment in "The Simpsons." Other than those instances, "Saturday Morning Apocalypse" is one-hundred percent an instrumental affair. Yet, the band as a whole is good, but they simply lack the musical creativity to be truly great.
Powerglove can be a whole lot of fun. To be quite honest, I rather enjoyed my first run through of the album. Yet to restate, I am a sucker for nostalgia, and some of the tunes got the better of me. As a package, it can be enjoyable to stroll down memory lane. Shows I used to love but have forgotten about, like Inspector Gadget, are here and represented. Its a jovial affair, and you can feel the youthful exuberance of the young men behind the band. The energy is high, but it wears thin very, very quickly, and once your scratch the surface, it becomes apparent that "Saturday Morning Apocalypse" is nothing but a gilded novelty. In fact, it's eerie how much the band and their namesake parallel each other. A gimmick, made of cheap materials, only to be used by the very few interested.