Shael Riley and The Double Ice Backfire did a Kickstarter fundraiser in late 2010… and even though my discs may have gotten lost in the mail somewhere along the line, Shael Riley does right by his fans and he was kind enough to toss me a download code to get the album from Bandcamp. And am I ever glad he did.
You may remember Shael Riley from the chiptune band The Grammar Club. One of Shael’s other projects has been the Double Ice Backfire, which is clearly an homage to all things Mortal Kombat, even musically. The band performed a cover of the song Sub-Zero (Chinese Ninja Warrior) (which was from an old album released when the very first Mortal Kombat game was released). The album title references The Pit (a famous level in the Mortal Kombat series) and there is even a song en titled “tip eht fo mottob” – which is a clever reference to a screen in the original arcade version of Mortal Kombat which the hint “tip eht fo mottob” – a clue to a way that you can fight the hidden character, Reptile. The song is a fun trip through the Mortal Kombat universe from Reptile’s perspective.
Not every song was equally geeky. Album opener, How to Fire a Gun is quite sincere and contains much more thought provoking lyrics: “do you believe she’ll never leave you, do you have someone to read to, do you hope you’ll never need to fire a gun?” But don’t worry, if that’s not your scene, then you can rely on songs like Hipster Hoax to bring you back to the world you’re familiar with, of pirates, ninjas, and cats.
While people waited for the album to finish, the band released several covers (many of which were commissioned by Kickstarter contributors), including Here Comes the Hot Stepper (you’d remember Ini Kamoze if your heard it!), Creep from Radio Head, Cake’s The Distance, and even Melanie by “Weird Al” Yankovic.
Head to ShaelRiley.com to listen to the covers for free, and you can head to Bandcampto buy the album for $10.