Kode creates fame through covering Nintendo classics

Michael Castro

Like a blast from the 1980’s state of the art gaming console arrives a sound so familiar it’s almost embarrassing. The video game cover band known as Kode is coming to Hamden for its first show in Connecticut.

What started as a fun side-project among fellow musicians turned into a unique band with open possibilities. Kode is a 5-piece band, made up of: Nick Matzke (guitar), Paul Meyer (guitar), Neil Evans (drums), Ray Reich (keys), and John (bass). Matzke recalls wanting to start the band with a core group of musicians capable of capturing the complex video game scores.

“I wanted to get a group of solid players so we could ultimately pull this music off and do it justice,” he said.

After the band found success and a great crowd reaction from their first gig, they decided to take the group seriously.

From the classic theme of the “Super Mario Brothers” to “Mike Tyson’s: Punch Out,” Kode provides a wide selection of material that’s sure to send any video gamer reminiscing. Kode’s bassist, John, explained that the music’s a way for the audience, as well as the band, to identify with their youth.

“It’s just really good music,” he said. “The fact that we can play in different towns and people are yelling off the names of songs. they don’t even know us, but they know the music.”

Musically, the band members have various influences such as Phish, Dream Theatre, and John Coltrane, to name a few. Bands like The Advantage and The Minibosses have already paved the way for this unique genre of music, but Kode seems to offer an eclectic mix of styles that shape their songs.

Each song is carefully voiced in order to preserve the mystique of the original game, but the arrangements leave plenty of room for creativity. In their cover of “Contra,” Kode milks out the song for everything its worth. The die-hard gamer could only wish to hear this version blaring out of his television as he plays the original game.

Kode is definitely a must-see show when they play The Space on Friday. You can catch Kode at 7:15 p.m. with Eula, The Eskimo, and Living in Polaroid.