Not quite. In fact, what would the funky, neon-sneakered Hyper Crush be today without the beat-emphasizing sound effects of Duck Hunt or Super Mario Bros? Or the lead singer’s power glove? Armed with glow-sticks, good sense of camp and kitsch and hits from their latest album, The Arcade, this Californian trio dazzles clubs on a national tour all through August.
With lyrics like Nope, she’s hot as hell. … man she looked perfect naked and she said her name was Buffy but I just called her Hussie, the band’s musical art-cade, retro-electro message becomes clear— there is nothing in the show business that a good artist cannot ridicule—even using an amalgam of electro and hip-hop.
The core of their slipslop lyrics transcends not only video games, but sex, drugs, nightlife, and bubble gum overdose.
I met this chic at the candy store. The type of chic you can’t ignore, sings Donny Fontaine, the blond, candy-eyed wannabe Eminem leader who notoriously (and consciously) butchers the hip-hop culture freestyling about “lollypops and cold Pepsi.”
“I specialize in late night savagery and microphone gymnastics,” he describes himself. “You can often catch me in and around your local 7-11 brown bagging,’ and asking females questions like ‘Where’s the party at?’”
Fontaine will do anything for a joke. On the band’s website, he modestly writes: “One of Donny's greatest achievements was a freestyle battle he won at the Country Manor Home for the Mentally Disabled.”
“As far as I'm concerned, none of these retards stand a chance,” said Donny, prior to his landslide victory.
“We’re into loud,” he says earnestly while driving through the homelands of the San Fernando Valley.“For one show we wore glow-in-the-dark outfits and the crowd went crazy,” he recalled.
Fontaine promotes Hyper Crush’s signature dress code—bright colors, seizure-inducing patterns and cotton-free fabrics. Everything about the band is overdone-- from their flashy clothes, to the silver teeth of the keytarist Preston Moronie and skimpy costumes of the second vocalist and the group’s eye candy, Holly Valentine.
Fetishizing popular culture adds an interesting twist to the scene, and if not groundbreaking, it is at least fun to watch. Their latest video, The Arcade, opens with a typical techno music intro—with a yuppie (Moronie) working lonely after-hours in an empty office, which soon turns into a light-filled club. Valentine adds an R&B chorus (and her amply exposed chest) to a mixture of hard electronic beats and Fontaine’s doo-hop vocals, all blended with video game sound effects.
“Doo hop was a part of the 50’s electronic music,” explains Fontain. “We all do the 80s stuff; 70s and 80s songs. Mostly it’s 80s’ electro.”
Every member has an equal input into the final outcome—the sizzling album.“All of us write lyrics,” explains Fontaine. “Me and Preston do the beats. Then I’ll write my vocals and Holly will write hers. We all help each other out.”
Like it is often the case with the coming-together of bands, these Californian sweethearts were long time friends before kicking off Hyper Crush. “Preston and I met in the middle school,” recalls Fontaine. “We met Holly in high school, but Preston and Holly used to be in a band years before. Like years, years before.”
The Arcade, released in May, has the potential for becoming a recognizable part of the psychedelic output of recent clubbing era’s electro market. With a nationwide tour that started on July 17, Hyper Crush educates club-goers about techniques of rampaging, shaking ass and rediscovering the kitschy overdoses of sounds and objects in the 80s style.
“I’m really excited about the East Coast. Especially New York,” says Fontaine. “I love East Coast, but I never get out there. Also, last time we went to Denver it was incredible, so I care to go to Denver.”
Some of the other cities on the list of the brightest band in America are: Sacramento, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Orlando and Austin. For the tour schedule go to: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=68984922 .