"Garage Palace" is the new video from Feel Good Inc. peddlers, Gorillaz. With a brooding chant to set the dark-and-stormy-night tone, everything transforms into a side scrolling arcade game hungry for your quarters. Ninjas get their feet hacked off. Zombies army crawl after British rapper Little Simz. The regular members of the band wield hockey sticks, scythes, bats, and even rock a mounted minigun.
Old school gaming references abound. The ninjas alone feel like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles send up. That was a big one in the arcades back in the day. There's a zombified E. Honda from Street Fighter II. All the while, subliminal messages flash between the scenes: Fly!! Fight!! Die!! Pray!!
Then it turns into a vertical scrolling bullet hell. I fed lots of 25-cent pieces to Raiden and 1943: The Battle of Midway. I was raised on those machines. It heads right into side scrolling bullet hell after that. They're riding on F-16 Falcons, they're platforming on each other's bellies, and they're dodging a Cuban Missile Crisis' worth of ballistic missiles. It rounds things off with a boss battle against a neon-smiling and spray-painted statue of Buddha.
Too bad I'm not into the track much, otherwise. It sounds like an off-kilter "212" from Azalea Banks, but doesn't pack any of the fun, and the rhymes are nowhere near as tight. It's worth a watch, though. I miss the Gorillaz heyday, but it's still good to see them have a little fun nowadays, too.