In the past few years surf has finally being sneaking in nods to another nostalgic form of instrumentals: video game themes. Off the top of my head, there's Amphibian Man's Contra covers album, Zelda themes from likes of Genki Genki Panic, The Cholla and The Zoras, and a Sonic the Hedgehog cover by Surflamingo. As a video game dork myself, I'm 100% into this, which is why I was thrilled to see this project: songs from or inspired by retro gaming from heavy surf heavyweights Arno De Cea & the Clockwork Wizards, Los Pecadores, The Mullet Monster Mafia and The Superinvaders.
If you're not familiar with these groups, they all work really well together. Arno de Cea (Cestas) are purveyors of brutal surf that often have me searching for more adjectives that aren't just "apocalyptic". Los Pecadores (UK) released a great LP this year called Tough Love, on which their track Sinbad appears. Mullet Monster Mafia (Brazil) play fast and heavy surf-punk and are one of the wildest live groups in the genre. SuperInvaders (Italy) aren't usually an instrumental band, and one of theirs is indeed a vocal track, but they general are reminiscent of Man or Astro-Man's vocal tracks.
The games they chose to cover are not the modern-ordained classics, and I admit that I was unfamiliar with all of them. They include:
Ikari Warriors for the NES, which I have played, but as an adult and not enough to remember the theme
Draconus for the Atari 8-bit family of home computers.
Blade Runner for the Commodore 64... but also the movie.
While Los Pecadores don't cite a specific game, it's accompanied with a great 8-bit video as if it were.
The others appear to be more "inspired by" games, with little 8-bit beeps and boops thrown in. If reeled in by the premise it might be disappointing that 3/10 songs are actually from games, but it's a great split in its own right showcasing bands with similar appeal from four different nations.
Vinyl and digital download on bandcamp.