Special Review: Insane Ian's Fairly Epic

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A review of Insane Ian’s 2009 CD, Fairly EPic. Ian was one of the spotlighted performers at Balticon 45 last month.

Don’t get me wrong. I like bands that perform covers of video game music. Arm Cannon, The Advantage, Rare Candy, and Mini-Bosses are favorites on my iPod. But, I have a greater appreciation for bands/artists who perform original tracks, even if they’re parodies. This past month at Balticon 45, I had the pleasure of seeing Insane Ian perform live. In short form, he’s a video game-oriented variation on Weird Al and Spike Jones. The clever lyrics and game terminology won me over and I purchased his disc, Fairly EPic.

Opening with an amazing medley of tracks that spoofed “King Nothing”, “The Final Countdown”, “Magic Man”, “Behind Blue Eyes”, “Hotel California”, “Solsbury Hill”, “Pretty Fly for a White Guy”, and “Juke Box Hero”. Yet, each of these sections of the track was related to one video game or another, be it Silent Hill, Guitar Hero,or Castlevania.

The second track, “(The Love Theme from) Asteroids (The Motion Picture),” sounds like it was performed by Trey Parker. – a testament to Ian’s voice work talent. Granted, a face value its a parody of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing.” Yet, the lyrics also take jabs at cliches that seem to appear in every Michael Bay film ever made.

possible in three and a half minute  “My Parents Bought Me Intellivision (by the Great Luke Ski)” is a funny little gem about a gamer that goes through the stages of grief ater his parents failed to buy an Atari 2600. Eventually, the gamer comes around actually appreciates the system (“And what other game lets you play as Dracula?!”).

“Just To Be Difficult (by TV’s Kyle)” may be the least game-oriented track. Yet, many a guy will understand the plight of the character at the center of the lyrics. The use of the accordion recalls early Weird Al (think the 1983 self-titled debut 

The CD concludes with two live tracks from Marscon 2009, “Seeing Red” and “Guitar Hero.” The former is a great narrative of the imfamous Red Ring of Death, something that still plagues 360’s over four years later. The later is the full version of one of the medley section in the first track.

The CD serves as a great hello to anyone new to Insane Ian, as I was. I eagerly look forward to exploring his other albums and his future releases. This is a fun little disc with a lot to offer in the quick half hour it takes to listen through the whole album.

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