Nothing says “RAWK!” like cartoons, video games, and sci-fi, right?
If you spend enough time on YouTube, you’ll see all kinds of amazing people with incredible talents, bettering humanity with their words of wisdom and natural on-camera presence. Just kidding! You’ll mostly see a bunch of deluded lunatics getting kicked in the nuts or ranting about Doctor Who or their cat, or their cat called Doctor Who that kicked them in the nuts. But there genuinely are a few noble souls sharing their God-given skills out there, and a surprising number of them are super-talented guitarists…who are also, clearly, massive nerds. Here are five of our favorites.
331Erock – if that is his real name – has over a hundred videos, almost of all of which are of himself, in his bedroom, smiling bashfully and flicking his hair about as he rips out endless heavy metal takes on classic tunes. He has a pretty varied selection – movies, TV shows, games - but it’s clear where his true passion lies: '80s cartoons. Ever wanted to hear a thumping metal rendition of the theme to He-Man And the Masters Of The Universe? He’s got you:
And have you ever wished that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had more…shredding? (sorry). Here you go!
And it doesn’t stop there. 331Erock has covered just about every cartoon beloved by the Maxim staff as kids, including Transformers:
And…My Little Pony?
Oh well. Can’t win ‘em all. Although we can apparently catch them.
For some reason, a lot of guitarists really, really like doing pounding rock covers of Pachelbel’s "Canon," AKA, That Tune All Your Friends Get Married To. And when we say a lot, we mean a lot. Like this guy, say. Or this guy. Or this guy. Or – ok, you get the point. So why are we calling out rednebb and his cover specifically?
Is it because he just looks so gloriously nerdy as he hammers those solos in, sitting in his basement, face contorted in concentration? Is it because he suddenly switches it to a lounge-jazz cover partway through, then flips into dueling-banjo mode? Well, yes to both of the above, clearly. But mostly it’s because he figured out that there are other, more deserving pieces of classical music to be played on the electric guitar. Namely, the most badass piece of classical music ever written: Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor (AKA, that scary one with the organ):
Intriguingly, he chose to do a straight cover of it, rather than metal-izing it. But don’t worry – if that’s more your thing, 311Erock has a metal cover of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Because of course he does.
Gaming more your thing? Take a look at ferdk16, who has a dizzying selection of gaming covers, ranging from classics like Street Fighter II:
And Metal Gear Solid 2:
To more recent stuff, like Assassin’s Creed III:
His real work of nerd genius, though, lies in his recreation of the music from every single stage of the original Sonic The Hedgehog:
From Green Hill Zone, through the funky Labyrinth Zone, right through to the Final Zone, he’s turned each one into a power-metal wonder. Now if he could just go back and erase the terrifying video he made to accompany his cover of the song from Portal, that would be hugely appreciated.
Naturally, by now no entry would be complete without an appearance from 311Erock, so here’s his cover of Super Mario Bros.
Sylvain “ClouxCloux” Cloux has chosen sci-fi as his genre of choice, and happily churns out some of the jauntiest guitar work on YouTube. His endearingly happy cover of Star Trek, for example, sounds like something you’d want playing on the stereo while driving around town on a sunny Tuesday morning in a small French sports car:
While his Star Wars cover is something you could walk back down the aisle to after marrying the geek of your dreams:
The guy even improves on the Quantum Leap theme, a feat thought by the world’s top scientists, until now, to be impossible:
He doesn’t have a Doctor Who cover, sadly, but can you possibly guess who does?
Finally, for all you fantasy fans out there, we have sbeast64, who specializes in anything involving dragons, wizards, and the like. His epic cover of the “Shire Folk” theme from Lord Of The Rings sounds like something that should be playing while David Hasselhoff exits a swimming pool in slow motion, before furiously making out with someone in a string bikini as the credits roll:
His take on the “Riders In Black” theme from the same movie, however, just sounds like Megadeth. And if you know anything about us at all, you’ll know that’s the highest praise we’re capable of offering:
He doesn’t stop at the Hobbit stuff, though – he also does his best to de-wussify Harry Potter, which is a noble, if impossible folly:
He’s even tackled the Skyrim theme, which, sadly, we still can’t hear without being reminded just how quickly the Internet is capable of running a joke into the ground:
You’d think, with all that fantasy stuff, he’d have a Game Of Thrones cover, too, but we can’t seem to find one of th—oh hey, 311Erock.