Richard Einhorn ‎– Don’t Go In The House

4 out of 5

Label: Waxwork Records

Produced by: Thomas Dimuzio

While it’s a bit less thematic and immersive than Richard Einhorn’s brilliant Shock Waves score, his followup a couple of years later – Don’t Go In The House – maintains the massaging of simple, understated tones into creepy atmospherics, tweaked into further unnerving extremes by a juxtaposition of “light-hearted” moments that deteriorate back in to freak outs.  There are some elements of Waves in here, as the four suites the music has been edited in to segue in and out of plodding keys and sounds that mimic the marching theme of that score, but this is very much background to the way the score ebbs and flows in a manner suggestive of the movie’s killer’s stalking habits.

The ‘suites’ themselves are a bit of an oddity.  The vinyl clearly has track markers, and while the A- and C- and D-sides flow rather seamlessly, building from creepy lullabies to oppressive synths and overflowing into full-blown tunes toward the conclusion, much of the B-side feels like cues – that is, not very much a “suite” – and interrupts the score’s immersive qualities.  (But having a side called the “We Hate You Suite” earns a lot of credit back.)

Don’t Go In The House is a sneaky score – it’s very quiet, which makes it susceptible to only hearing its repeated themes.  But the D-sides comparatively “catchy” songcraft marries its under-the-surface ominousness to fascinating swells of keys that highlight the themes in new ways, encouraging going back for closer listens, which are incredibly rewarding.  This is a great score over headphones or at volume, excepting some moments when its flow is broken down by a sequence of shorter, less involved queues.

Waxwork’s mastering is a bit crackly, as usual, but it’s also warm and well-balanced (the music is quiet this time, not the mastering itself), and should definitely satisfy those exploring composer Richard Einhorn’s output.