File this under “out of left field:” Portland’s own politically charged punk rockers the Thermals have released a video game. Named after “The Sword By My Side,” a cut off the band’s most recent record Desperate Ground, the game pits bassist Kathy Foster against an army of hellish ghouls in the side-scrolling, 16-bit glory of early Nintendo.
The Thermals are no stranger to constructing fictional narratives: they first garnered major media attention with 2006’s The Body, The Blood, The Machine, a concept album about a couple who must flee a future American dystopia ruled by fascist faux-Christian leaders. Our guess is that this time around, the story isn’t meant as a timely political allegory, but we’ll let you decide.
You can play the game, designed by Slouch Couch Game Studio, right here. Word is, the successful player eventually gets to liberate Foster’s nude and shivering captive 16-bit bandmates. We wouldn’t know; we haven’t gotten that far yet.