With one glorious exception, Mario has never been an especially musical character. But that hasn't stopped New York-based pop punk band Patent Pending from transforming themselves into a Mushroom Kingdom-based tribute band, taking on the personas of “Mario And The Brick Breakers.” It’s kind of like when Garth Brooks shed his multiple-colors-in-big-rectangular-patches skin to become Chris Gaines, if Garth Brooks had been a little-known pop punk band instead of one of the biggest artists in the world, and Chris Gaines had been the wholly owned property of a successful Japanese video game company.
The group has even put together a small trailer for a Behind The Music-type special, detailing the band’s rise and fall, complete with hideous puns like “That’s when I knew I was gonna go from plumber—to drummer,” accompanied by the goofiest shots of a man in a Luigi costume awkwardly pretending to drum that you will ever see. There are some amusing touches, though, like Donkey Kong as the band’s gruff manager, or a cameo from a cackling Wario.
Live-action Mario fan films are nothing new, but this is still a weird window, not just into a world where game characters are pop stars, but also one where a band devotes themselves so completely to what is really a pretty niche concept. Patent Pending has clearly thrown themselves totally into being Mario And The Brick Breakers, producing videos, multiple songs, and an elaborate backstory for the band, which is pretty weird when you consider that they definitely don’t have the rights to any of these characters.
But hey, if you can’t make music, you've gotta do something. And if the band’s single “Hey Mario,” which combines everything wonderful in both music and nerd culture—nasal rap-singing, casual misogyny, pandering references, and the idea of “friend-zoning”—is anything to go by, they need all the help they can get.