It’s time to face the truth: Skorchamenza is the new Guitar Hero of Las Vegas’ music scene. On 2005 debut For the Love of Rock ’n’ Roll, Timothy Styles & Co. cranked out straight-ahead punk and garage-rock with little frills. Here, they’ve diversified and stylized their songcraft while maintaining the original guitar backbone.
8 Bit Nation is loosely based on ’80s video games, so it naturally begins (and ends) with a Super Mario Bros.-style instrumental. Between these bookends, there are tributes to other past icons, from Devo’s robotic riffs (“DeEvolution”) to Tony Iommi’s sinister ax work (“Stone Cold”) to Weezer’s nerdy introspection (“Monster”). Derivative? Maybe. Fun? For sure.