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We're Kick-Punch-Block, otherwise known as KPB!

Helping to expand the Fighting Game community locally in the heart of NYC, nationally, and eventually worldwide.

Aphro’s Asskicking Anthems – March 2017

What it is, what it is, what it is... shed no tears. Weather notwithstanding, I had a rather enjoyable weekend. How about you? This month's Anthem is about the folks out there that hold nothing back...

What is slowly enveloping you right now is "Freak" by James LaBrie. I came across this song a few years ago while on a flight back to NY. Where I was coming from escapes me at the moment, but it's not really important. If you're anything like me, you've probably had one or two moments where you've randomly come across a song, but was never told its title or who sings it. That was the case with this track. Since I was on a plane enjoying their musical selection, I was able to find a tracklist in the airline's magazine. After about two or three rotations, I was finally able to pin down the song & artist. Good thing, too...

For lack of any other way of saying it, what strikes me about this song so much is its fluidity. When you listen to it at length (as one could do on a long flight), this track almost feels as though its being slowly poured onto you. LaBrie wanted you to feel this song on an almost intimate level. The lyrics & vocals lend themselves to a sense of subtle rebellion. That is, of course, until that short interlude where the guitar work kicks in. From that moment on, it goes from being succinct to overt. Almost bordering on indignant. What was once the urge to remain unseen gradually transforms into the desire to not only be seen, but to be felt... experienced. The defiant tone in his vocal delivery compounds that desire by almost sounding accusatory of any onlookers or passersby.

So where do you go when a song demands your attention? You go where the action is and the best/worst type of action is usually not that far behind people with a chip on the shoulder. My choice this month is a stunning example of someone who has a serious chip on theirs...

I would strongly advise against making any "soulless ginger" jokes around him...

The "Red of Origin"... UNIEL's Carmine! Talk about impulse control issues, this guy is a genuine piece of work. Usually, he's got no gripes about him, but that aforementioned chip on his shoulder causes his usual social interactions to quickly escalate into violence. Which works just fine for him because he loves the stuff! As a Fake Born, the manipulation of his EXS allows him to control (and weaponize) his own blood. The unfortunate gameplay mechanic this results in is that he drains his life gauge whenever an attack utilizing his blood comes into play. Ironically, that's way more realistic than some of the other stuff you'd come across playing this game. Personally, I'm surprised you don't earn some esoteric Trophy for finishing a match with a perfect while using Carmine... but hey, what do I know?

Remember that imagery I described earlier? About the music feeling as though it's being poured onto you. Yeah, Carmine can actually make that happen. Rein Blood allows him complete control of that particular bodily fluid. Combine that with his violent attitude & remarkably short temper, you've got a recipe for disaster on your hands. To make matters worse, there's no telling what he might view as a slight against him. Any little social miscue might send him off in a rage. Suddenly, the song's pacing comes back to mind. Think about it... there's Carmine, minding his own business (of more than likely being a jerk) when all of a sudden, somebody allegedly looks at him. (Queue that guitar interlude.) Next thing you know, you're either under attack from puddles of blood you didn't even know were at your feet or (even worse) entombed in a crimson crystal. Yeah... Carmine definitely classifies as a freak. Something tells me he wouldn't have it any other way.

Until next time... keep fighting the good fight, my friends.

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