Music Reviews


Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Dark Star

Now on the one hand, I’ve just spent most of the day watching Full Moon movies on the Sci Fi Network, so I’m uniquely qualified to review this cheapie monster flick soundtrack. Then again, I’ve never seen the damn thing, not even the included trailer; it looks rather painful, dig? That could be a drawback. And it ain’t cuz I’m too scared (what scares me: John Carpenter’s The Thing and the last scene in Sleepaway Camp), this one looks a lil’ bit Corman and a whole lotta Castle Freak.

Here’s the score sonically: the original theme material isn’t any great shakes, and three of the best songs on this record didn’t even make it into the film. Now I ask you, if your film doesn’t have enough room for L.A. Guns, mister, where are your priorities? But the album is excellent and reminds me aesthetically of the High Voltage soundtrack. Back in the days when big hair and androgynous screeches – I’m talking about the bands, not the slasher victims – dominated B-movie music.

There’s so much pure gold on this record that I’m just gonna ignore the uninspiring and blah moments. Accentuate the positive and all that. Fucking NITRO, of all people, became my new FAVORITE BAND IN THE WORLD, about a minute into “Freight Train.” It’s a tour de force in every sense of the world, glam rock amped up to the nth degree. Imagine every element of, say Hanoi Rocks, pushed into pure interstellar overdrive — the solos are faster, the hair is bigger, the pants are tighter, the vocals are higher and weirder, the riffs are tighter – it’s so fucking insane, it goes beyond Poison, beyond opera, beyond joke, beyond speed metal into this weird ether realm where it exists as a Crowley-esque law unto itself. NITRO fucking rule! Buy everything they’ve ever done, then buy every picture ever taken of them.

L.A. Guns sweep in effortlessly after the metal punch-in-the-balls that is NITRO and soothe the savage beast with the lighters-aloft ballad “It’s Over Now.” I can just imagine them playing this live and Phil Lewis crooning this like some coked-up leather-vampire Frank Sinatra to the rats… er… groupies in the front row like he really fucking means it and for you, girl in the front, he will give up his life of Rimbaudian debauchery and settle down in a double-wide to watch Night Court and snuggle. L.A. Guns always ruled it – they had the scum and the danger yin perfectly matched with the sensitive and soft yang. Nowhere is this more apparent than Lewis raggedly begging “Take me back” repeatedly over a velvety soft solo coda from Tracii Guns. Whew!

Then to sweeten the pot even more, both Cutlass and Slave Driver chime in with excellent, ace Queensryche pastiches circa Operation: Mindcrime (still an untouchable album). Cutlass’ “You Stand Accused” is probably the better of the pair, with Geoff Tate-aping vocals, crisp guitar work and some ace samples at the end where the singer shouts down a hypocritical politician.

This album has it all. Except for a good film to be based on, evidently. Twelve years in the making!

Dark Star Records:

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