I don’t know how The Protomen can take 80’s songs and make them even more 80’s but by-gum they find a way. The Cover Up is The Protomen’s 4th album and is a compilation of superb covers ranging from Queen to Kenny Loggins to Roy Orbison. They add their rock opera stylings to each song and make them truly their own, opening with Patti Smiths ‘Because the Night’, Queens ‘Princes of the Universe’, and Styx’s ‘Mr. Roboto’.
Robert Tepper’s ‘No Easy Way Out’ of Rocky IV fame gets the Ennio Morricone treatment and is transformed into a spaghetti western epic. You know ‘No Easy Way Out’…its the one Rocky angrily drives off to after Drago kills Apollo Creed.
Next is the home run. The jewel in the crown. Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’. The slow build to that moment in the song we are all familiar with and then the ominous low grungy synth that shakes you to your core is nothing more than beautiful. Then they throw some strings into the mix just to thoroughly blow your mind.
Its followed up by Roy Orbison’s ‘I Drove All Night’ then hits you with the Bonnie Tyler’s classic ballad ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart. Iron Maiden’s ‘The Trooper’ gets an overhaul with a slight tweak to the lyrics changing the Russians to Robots…as it should be with anything Protomen.
Then they throw you a curveball. As the next track plays you begin to think…’I know this…WHERE THE HELL IS THIS SONG FROM?’ Its none other than Tim Capello’s ‘I Still Believe’. If you still don’t know what that is…check out this greased up sax playing beefcake…
Did your brain blow out the back of your head from that epicness? That guy could be Emperor of Earth if he wanted it bad enough! Lets get back on track…
Just when you think this album couldn’t get any more epic, here comes Kenny Loggins’ ‘Danger Zone’! They then wrap up with Mike + The Mechanics’ ‘Silent Running’.
Throughout these tracks there are sprinkled little bits of story pertaining to their main rock opera following the lives of Dr Light & Megaman. The story here in The Cover Up seems to be taking place at the same time as events in Act II: The Father of Death.
If you are a fan of the Protomen, then I don’t have to tell you anything. You already own this album. It’s a little slice of awesome to tide us over until Act III drops. If you haven’t given The Protomen a listen, and you are a fan of Megaman or gaming in general, you should pick up Act I & II and start your education. They have given a life to these characters that all the games and cartoons couldn’t come close to achieving and as far as I’m concerned, their story is canon.
I’m gonna keep these ratings simple:
Mix: To quote the late Harry Goz…”It’s like a koala bear crapped a rainbow in my brain!”
Cover Art: Spotless
The Cover Up can be purchased from The Protomen’s site http://protomen.com/ on CD, Vintage Cassette, Vinyl and Digital Download. Shirts and Posters are also available.
Artwork by John Delucca (also the cover artist for Act II) and Caspar Newbolt. Check out their other work here…
The Protomen: The Cover Up
Every song one-ups the previous and makes for one of those albums that you have to listen to end-to-end each sitting.
It makes me want Act III even more!