Music is a rad medium for self-expression to manifest itself in and bands are a big part of that. They create the music and shape its sound, and in turn the music defines the band and influences its look and appeal. Sometimes though, bands are literally created as fictional characters and today I want to look at some of my favorite examples of this in gaming media:


5. Off The Hook


From the relatively new Nintendo game Splatoon 2 on the Switch, Off The Hook is a quirky fusion of techno and rap fronted by a tiny rapping squid and her timid octopus friend. Stranger still, the duo speaks in garbled gibberish and yet it almost sounds like familiar words at times. This is both fun and mildly unsettling in the best way.


4. Dusk Stars

From the Steam slice-of-life/cosmic horror game Night in the Woods comes a band that is only "named" in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bit of gag dialogue. Their title may not be particularly substantial, but their music is surprisingly good. The lyrics are not spoken aloud but they are presented in subtitles and they are surprisingly gloomy, plus you get to play through them using little Guitar Hero minigames on your keyboard. Some fans have even taken it upon themselves to cover the music with actual vocals, and it sounds great.


3. MilkCan

In the PaRappa The Rapper spinoff, Um Jammer Lammy fronts the band MilkCan, which has actually released a full album at this point in real life. Katy Kat sings the lyrics and the album, entitled "Make It Sweet" is a good mix of pop and rock. So in essence, they're kind of like Gorillaz but with cartoon animals that look like paper cut-outs.


2. The Sex Bob-Ombs


While technically these guys come from the comic Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, they have also been featured in a co-op arcade beat ‘em up which rocks some serious socks. Thanks to the movie adaption, some of their music has also been covered for real, and it sounds pretty darn good. Plus Michael Cera and Alison Pill are in it so hey, bonus points.


1. Ironheade

That's with an 'e' in it, so people know they're not messin' around.

Basically instead of playing music, most of the time this hard rock band goes around fighting for freedom by putting on performances for ghosts that involve battling with demonic oppressors by weaponizing guitars as literal axes. Does that even count as a band at that point? I don't know, but I don't really care because it's just plain awesome.

And then there's Kabbage Boy.