Apr 2014 13

Power Glove - Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (Original Soundtrack)Power Glove
Category: Electronica
Album: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (Original Soundtrack)
Stars: 4
Blurb: A surprise video game hit spawns equally surprising score that borrows liberally from decade’s worth of cinematic tradition and sums them up with stunning efficiency and affection.


 

Not as often as other contemporary media do video games readily, openly, and successfully toy with the postmodernist bent to reference and exploit pop cultural motifs. While Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon’s simple premise allows it to explore, reference, and mock a plethora of action movie quips and clichés, the music, courtesy of the Australian duo of time travelling dissidents from the future that form Power Glove, takes this pastiche to a whole new sonic level with compositions that are as aware of their ersatz features as they are entertaining in and of themselves.

To understand the concept and stylistic cogency behind the soundtrack to Blood Dragon, all you need to know and imagine is this: Aliens’ and The Terminator’s Michael Biehn is Rex Colt, a cybernetically enhanced, testosterone filled super soldier and he’s out there to kick ass and chew bubblegum. Before going all out bonkers and throwing the guise of seriousness out the window, The Terminator inspired themes herald the arrival of the game’s hero. The distant echoing drum machines of “Rex Colt” and “Warzone” vividly echo Brad Fiedel’s classic instrumentations and to no less menacing and intimidating effects. The main theme plays off the iconic uplifting hooks from dozens of cult TV openings and between the Miami beaches and K.I.T.T. materializing somewhere on the borders of your consciousness, “Blood Dragon” will pull you in with its rhythmic construction, full of synthesized fanfares and upbeat melodies. The experience is richer and more nuanced than the ascetic, precisely punctuated scores of yore – the classic melodies from John Carpenter movies find their brethren amid the track list of Blood Dragon, but Power Glove allows the music to be dominated by warmer and deeper tones that gradually take over the flow of the album. In fact, as a whole, the record feels like an amalgamation of more than just the most obvious nods to classic ‘80s film music. Beyond blatant mimicry of Morricone on “Blood Scope” or Vangelis’ jazzy, dreamy aural aesthetic of Blade Runner on “Dr Elizabeth Darling” and “Love Theme,” the album borrows from the combined militaristic bent of Schifrin, Rubini, and Horner. Not only is this score perfectly in tune with the game’s tongue-in-cheek pastiche and its adolescent sense of humor, it also lends itself to those wonderful private trips into the past to which the synth driven soundscapes constitute a splendid accompaniment.

Beyond its dominant function of supporting the mood and the hyper saturated aesthetic of Far Cry3: Blood Dragon, Power Glove’s music embodies over a decade’s worth of cinematic tropes and musical cues that became inseparably linked with the bloated egos of overstimulated macho action heroes and their brooding, silent Plissken-esque counterparts. It’s a tribute to orchestrations that are no more, defined by their living romantic pulse and not the pounding excess that came to dominate the current crop of movie scores. Listening to any one track from the record will surely send any listener down memory lane in the company of dozens of unforgettable images from the action genre classics and ‘80s cinema in general.
 
Track list:

  1. Rex Colt
  2. Blood Dragon Theme
  3. HELO-73
  4. Warzone
  5. Moment of Calm
  6. Dr Elizabeth Darling
  7. Power Core
  8. Protektor
  9. Sloan
  10. Sloan’s Assault
  11. Blood Scope
  12. Combat I
  13. Combat II
  14. Combat III
  15. Katana
  16. Omega Force
  17. Nest
  18. Rex’s Escape
  19. Love Theme
  20. Sleeping Dragon
  21. Warcry
  22. Cyber Commando
  23. Death of a Cyborg
  24. Resurrection
  25. Blood Dragon Theme (Reprise)

 
Power Glove Website http://www.powergloveaudio.com
Power Glove MySpace https://myspace.com/powergloveaudio
Power Glove Facebook https://www.facebook.com/powergloveaudio
Power Glove Twitter https://twitter.com/powergloveaudio
Power Glove SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/powerglove
Power Glove Bandcamp http://powergloveaudio.bandcamp.com
 
2013-05-01
 
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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