John Carpenter – Lost Themes II
Sacred Bones Records – 2016
I’m going to write this review differently than most of the albums I evaluate. I’m going to type it raw as I’m listening to it the first time and be finished by the time the disc ends.
“Distant Dream” has a stomping drum that is reminiscent of “Christine Attacks” from Christine. But the tune twists into an electronic ripper more along the lines of something Italian band Goblin would create. The sequenced synthesizer that gives the track is base is pure John Carpenter and as a huge fan of his music, it’s something you can never get enough of.
The notes and keyboard tone in “White Pulse” is very pretty to listen to and takes you to a different place verses the darker opening. The high keyboard line is very cool and in some ways reminded of the synth sound so prevalent in the great 80 slasher films. Mid-way through the cue travels into Big Trouble in Little China territory with both the keyboards and active percussion. Three minutes in the composition made me think of Carpenter’s music for Village of the Damned.
“Persia Rising” feels like playing a video game. Traveling through different levels of a game to reach where the story takes you.
The electric guitar in “Angel’s Asylum” counter weights the mystical keyboard line. The tune is rockified in a way like Carpenter has done before in Big Trouble In Little China and In The Mouth of Madness. There’s some nice guitar and keyboard interplay the last quarter of this track.
I like the lower part of the sound registry of “Hofner Dawn.” There’s some real fantasy musical elements working here.
“Windy Death” has the nihilistic quality found in Escape From New York. It even has a catchy groove to hook you.
Speaking of Escape From New York, “Dark Blues” hops aboard that compositional train big time and rides it for all it’s worth. The sliding keyboard part just over two minutes is pretty darn cool. I love all the different musical elements in this cue. Guitar, keyboard, bass and percussion. Very nicely done.
The beginning of “Virtual Survivor” makes it feel like you are one of the last people left on Earth. The dramatic push of this song is infectious.
Early into “Bela Lugosi” the distorted keyboard made me think of Dark Star. There’s some impressive keyboard runs dancing about.
There’s a haunting quality to “Last Sunrise.” The choice and order of notes in this song bring Village of the Damned to mind. I do like the tempo change and the direction the song moves towards.
Enjoy the musical celebration that is “Utopian Facade.”
There’s not a single track that’s more powerful than “Vortex” found on the first Lost Themes release. But as a whole Lost Themes II is more focused and cohesive. It’s a tough road John Carpenter, his son Cody Carpenter and his Godson Daniel Davies have to drive because everyone wants to hear classic John Carpenter. Yet they want new music.
I think this threesome of musical partners are headed into right direction. I’d love it if they went into darker territory like Carpenter’s best scary movies, but I guess that might require a film.
I’m just happy to hear more new music from the legendary director and his cohorts. Don’t stop anytime soon.