Konami Kukeiha Club ‎– Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time

3 out of 5

Label: iam8bit

Produced by:  Konami Kukeiha Club (?)

A fast-paced score that has enough tracks to shake up Konami Kukeiha Club’s main limitation – their habit toward repetition within any given project – and also displays their long-running, inherent ability to spin up the catchiest of bleep-blop tunes.

‘Turtles In Time’s score has the out-of-the-box boost of some recognizable themes upon which KKC can iterate: stripped from the cartoon, the digitized versions of TMNT’s iconic intro and outro are zipped up into next-level glitz by some lovely fast-paced beats and whirls of keys.  The Kukeiha Club mostly builds on this with great success throughout – more rock-based tunes; pushing the beat toward surfing grooves – and only gets caught by the admitted limitations of the Turtles’ Fred Wolf-era franchise of needing to always be happy and goofy and upbeat towards the latter half of the album’s B-side, when some tunes and moods start to feel recycled.  Still, the sense of momentum and general breadth of the soundtrack (which feels more expansive than those of most games from the era) keeps your toe tapping through this, and by the time things run dry, we’re on to “Pizza Power” from the live Turtles show, which is so overwhelmingly Turtlemania-ed that you’ll be shocked into a giggling delirium, and forget any concerns you might’ve had over the rest of the music.

While iam8bit’s pressing of this is clean and clear, as usual with them, it lacks any real depth – you might as well just have mp3s – and the label just cannot figure out how long it’s appropriate to loop certain tracks, as they chose the most random moments to let seconds-long clips play in repeat just to pad out runtime for 33 RPMs.  This is also, unfortunately, some of the laziest art yet from the imprint, and lacks anything that makes the package seem like something more official than a fan release.

The music itself is probably a 4 out of 5, but the disappointing presentation knocks it down.