Great Moments in Synth: Days of Thunder

Cocktail Hell PatrolIt’s sad how predictable this blog has become, eh? What was once a powerful conduit of the labyrinth of forgotten videogame music lore has become just another YouTube middle-man. O! the humanitee! But maybe things will change around here for the better soon. *wink*

Ah, but Synth music! Yes, I seem to be bridging some sort of gap between cheesy-but-endearing, well-crafted catchy movie soundtracks from the 70s-90s and video game music from said same period. I’m sure there’s a scholarly analysis of it to be found in there somewhere, but don’t expect me to find it. Who the heck has that kind of time? What do I look like to you — some sort of trustafarian Portland grad-student in tight jeans and dyed hair, moving to Portland and inviting you to visit so I can string you along for a relationship that will never happen?!? *froth*


In the early ’90s, Jerry Bruckheimer and co. made the supremely awful film, Days of Thunder, the target of the later terrible spoof, Talladega Nights. But from all this badness came some fun music from Hans Zimmer, with the help of Jeff Beck. Unfortunately, the two only do a handful of soundtrack score pieces — the majority of the soundtrack being top-40 major label swill. So it goes.

I usually give Hans Zimmer a lot of guff. But he’s better than John Williams (Hollywood composer) realistically. I can jive with some of Hans Zimmer’s stuff, but he’s no traditional western musical-academic master. He’s not exactly a maestro of the modernist compositional school. He’s more like an epic rocker who has a good sense of scoring. Why, this is the difference between a good metal guitarist and Hans Zimmer: Hans Zimmer can score his music on a grand staff.

As I said, this music is a lot of fun. And it is yet more endearing when you realize it’s for a supremely douchey movie starring Tom Cruise, Lizardman, Esq. Really, this music is way too minimalistically epic to accomodate such a profoundly mundane and shitty story. I would almost call this music unintentionally ironic.* This music should accompany some kind of soul-changing mystical endeavor. But coming back from defeat to win a big redneck car race and finally impress all the shallow, macho assholes you surrounded yourself with in the first place? WAIT A MINUTE, THAT’S WHAT I CALL A STORY! (maybe you guys could ghost-write my bio-pic?!)

But check out Jeff Beck on the guitar, baby! Cool stuff, esp. since he’s using that over-the-top ’80s saturated guitar tone, and with tube amp to boot! No joking around here — none of that dialed-in, direct-in crap found in modern movies and videogames. And Beck is a tasteful little puppy, too. He can play some fun notes and uses his Stratocaster whammy bar for good measure and in good stead.

Anyway, just something to brighten up your otherwise mundane day in which you go through an estranged world interacting with a variety of products and establishments that bear none of your craftsmanship or personal imprints whatsoever. No biggie.


~ by chaosrexmachinae on October 26, 2009.

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