5 out of 5
Produced by: Michael Fassenkemper (mastered by)
A truly inspired choice: the self-aware hardcore funk / crunch of Girls Against Boys, soundtracking Series 7, a rather predictive early 00s satire on reality TV, in which contestants vying to make it to the “series” by killing one another. The movie is never trying to be especially clever, but works by allowing its joke to be wholly surface level, then stuffing the primary content of the movie with actual characters, and actors who are able to nail the beats we’d later come to see in the majority of reality TV – the slight, and dramatic, shifts we make when we realize a camera is being pointed at us, and the way “reality” is further guided for such things as well. Bands doing scores – when their remit is to essentially just play their own music – are, to me, often not great matches for cinema, as the tone might work, but the approach of a score versus an album should be different. For GVSB, they do switch to primarily instrumentals, and the cuts are streamlined to crisp riffage and drumming, they’re style – vocal track included – is right in line with the showy vibe of the movie’s topmost level, the level for which GVSB are scoring. This is why it makes sense to have the stereotypically dour Love Will Tear Us Apart also feature here, along with some TV-chintzy dross in the form of some overly-sappy / -emotive love songs.
The film snippets throughout help to set the vibe up, even without watching the movie. The album shifts through a flick’s highs and lows, of big and bold openers through dramatic mid-beats, making the disc as entertaining as any given popcorn movie / disposable piece of media is hoping to be. That’s the five stars: how well this all goes together, and how listenable it is, with the added wrinkle of it all being done with a bit of a sneer – totally fitting for GVSB, making this a very “clean” version of the group, but also producing one of their slickest, complete albums.