Soundtrack - Cry_Wolf: Music From and Inspired By the
By Marcus Pan
New thriller movie, co-starring local
goober Jon Bon Jovi by the way, is just about out and many of you have seen
trailers for it by now I'm sure. An Internet thriller featuring instant
messages delivering what started as a hoax about serial killings on a college
campus (shades of Urban Legends?) features a band by the name of Adema,
who offer me this CD because their song Planets is to be the lead single
on the soundtrack.
The CD comes looking like a CD-Recordable disc hand labeled
as "Owen's Westlake Mix." An interesting attempt to be as cool as the Blair
Witch(1) soundtrack. Cute and catchy. Also, no guy named Owen can write as
nicely as this. Just an aside, sorry.
My first impression when I spun Cry_Wolf: Music From and
Inspired By the Film was one of overwhelming blah mixed with thoughts that
I accidentally left a pop radio station on. Nope, turns out it's just
the soundtrack. Now since this is, after all, a various artists type thing
we're going to talk about the tracks in succession like I usually do.
First up is Bloc Party with Like Eating Glass.
Another pop-rock bubblegum styled yumminess. I guess the kids like it. Tries to
be a bit punk without getting too gutsy and a bit U2 without getting too slow.
Fast paced, occasionally the bass gets groovy. Breathe Underwater by
Emanuel comes next and does everything it can to cookie cut its way through
alterna-rock country. It's not really that bad but then again there's a
whole lot of "not really that bad" around these days that it's not doing much
for me other than grooving a rhythm I'm already familiar with. Emanual goes
through a Linkin Park yell-the-lyrics phase near the end only increasing this
Low swathes down the rhythm with Moneky and gets a
bit interesting with its down tempo style. But it fails to stay interesting and
instead gets boring quickly. Maybe its the banality of the lyrics.
Picking it right up and running around like Green Day did years ago at
Woodstock, Just Surrender's Tell Me Everything is...Bowling For Soup(2),
Green Day, Blink 182 and all the other pop-punk groups. From years ago. I know
this song, almost, yet I've never heard it before. Figure that one out...
Sea Lion comes in being a bit off kilter like
Beck and I'm digging it. Finally some guts. Performed by Sage Frances,
Will Oldham & Alias. Whiny lyrics open the song interestingly and rap comes
in to cross lyrics as good as Eminem or, probably more appropriately, Linkin
Park. Finally a highlight to this album. I really dig it fresh rhythm,
the three throw lyrics at eachother like a good old fashioned rap off.
Rogue Wave attempt to be different with 10:1 and
almost pull it off, but the over the top drums and boorish keyboards tend to
wash it into a childish sea. Comes off more annoying that it should be. Rogue
Wave then attempts to mix up the rhythm but only shows us they can't drum well
(or program...whatever). Next up is our single we spoke of earlier: Adema's
Planets. No wonder they picked this one to lead the soundtrack...thus
far, nearly halfway through the soundtrack, it was a toss up between this and
Planets has good crunchy bass and while a bit stock
in trade pulls it off well. I'm not sure it's anything I've not heard before,
but maybe it's a bit of a better version. I'd buy an Adema album maybe. It's
got a nice slow groove, excellent musicianship, and just-about-to-crack vocals.
The break-ins of guitar riffage is a little expected, but again nicely done.
One of the few "start slow slam later" songs (everyone's doing that, almost)
that manages to retain its catchy rhythm becomes twice as strong and
doesn't have to be twice as fast to do it.
22-20 are one of those "we're so cool we don't have to write
anything different" bands. As I listen to Shoot Your Gun I hear Alice In
Chains in the lyrics, U2 in the stoic commonplace rhythm and guitars, Creed in
the drums. Maybe they're the bastard offsprings of a rehab center orgy. Oh
wait...the lyrics just got too banal to be Alice In Chains. My bad. Then staple
angry chick Jen Crowe acoustics her way onto the soundtrack with Cuts Like a
Life. Alanis? Sinead? Is that you? Actually, shes not half bad
and I dig her song. Im just now noticing that with only the two noted
exceptions all the other songs sound like all the other songs. Is this all one
damn band fucking with me? Its the female vocals that makes me realize
this. Oh and yes, this is a cover.
From Autumn to Ashes Inapprope has me wondering
if Vagrant Records made them up its so mainstream. So banal
unthinkingly and unabashingly radio friendly that the fact thats
its decently played falls by the wayside. This is the type of group that
would be playing synthpop 20 years ago because thats what was
in. Way to keep it stale, Vagrant! Oo whats this? Smoothe,
ambient-like, trancey and really nice. Blood Bleeds by Helio Sequence is
another highlight. I liken it to Esion(3) or I, Synthesis(4).
Looking ahead, the next track is by a group calling
themselves Aeon Spoke. Im hoping its simlar to the group Helio
Sequcne its got a similar vibe to the name. Bass bounces in and
the vocals try too hard to be grungy and garage. But while its nothing
like the trancey Blood Bleeds, its pretty good. Ive Seen
Those Eyes is one of the few songs on Cry_Wolf that tries to carve
its own way.
Upping the rhythm a bit is Jet Black Summer with Blood In
Blood Out. This is your teenage angry band. Im going to try not to
sing too well, just a tad off key, to give that garage appearance. Or maybe the
singing really is because theyre not good. Switches rhythms midway and
becomes a race through a flat yawn-filled park. Knife has about as much
maturity as my son(5). The lead singer of Miracle of 86 has enough vibrato here
Im wondering if he surgically loosened his voice box to get the extra
We come to another cover. Sparklemotions version of
Hungry Like the Wolf will be one of the few reasons why this CD may end
up on my shelf rather than passed off as a freebie. It lightens the mood of
Duran Durans original and adds a nice electrifying vibe to it. I dig her
naughty schoolgirl vocals. Makes me want to dance dirty.
Were nearing the end now as Khursor (cute
lots of meanings) pop in with Creating a Killer (Passive
Aggressive Remix). Sliding in eerily, Creating a Killer promptly
gets punky and hard. Then suddenly its not and its strangely
cerebral. Now its trancey and floaty with a nice anchoring backbeat.
Theres the chunky guitars again. Now its classical no,
techno. You know it might be nice if it didnt try to be everything
at once. Instead Im all fugged in the head now. Lets finish it off
now: Classic close it up with We Gonna Put It Down(6). It bubbles in,
raps quickly in gangsta style to the backdrop of up-n-down synthys and goes
through its expected shout-style booty shaking anthem lyrics complete with made
up funky fresh words and sex in a club references.
Well there you have it. Ive pointed out the
exceptions, but my second impression of Cry_Wolf: Music From and Inspired By
the Film is only slightly less blah than the first.
Post: 43 W. 38th St., New York, NY, 10018, USA
(1) Joshs Blair Witch Mix was
reviewed by our crusty old partner Dan Century in
(2) Strangely enough, I LOVED
their new A Hangover You Dont Deserve album. So much so I
wrote it up for Legends
(3) Esions En Route, an
editors favorite, was talked about in
(4) Avalanche by I,
Synthesis was reviewed in Legends
(5) Joshua was 16 months old 3 days
(6) Did I ever mention how much I tend to dislike misspellings in song
titles without good reason?
Click to Buy!