The logical thing to do at this point in the week is slit my wrists and bleed for Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Frizzi or Buddy Maglione. Instead I'm gonna celebrate blue-collar American underdog Richard Band. Band is probably the most prolific composer in this roundup but you don't hear his name dropped with the same hushed reverence as his towering Pasta Land contemporaries or prodigious Yankee squares such as Jerry Goldsmith or
Walter Wendy Carlos (um…not square) and that's probably because he's scored quite a few films that are best enjoyed as posters. I'm talkin' Time Warrior: Trapped on Toy World and Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syn. With over 75 scores on his resume he's certainly hacked out some repetitive snoozers over the past three decades but he's also turned in a few minor masterpieces such as Re-Animator, Troll, Terrorvision and of course this career pinnacle for the other beyond. I love this record not only because the back cover is a crude geometric silhouette of Jeffrey Combs that twitches in one's peripheral vision like a strychnine tracer but also because it's a genuinely weird and totally cinematic listening experience that doesn't let its playful sense of humor undermine its moments of sublime T-E-R-R-O-R. Stylistically it is very similar to Re-Animator which was released one year earlier and sounds like the tenth sub-basement of Pee Wee's Playhouse if it was located in that brownstone from Michael Winner's The Sentinel. Band tends to season his orchestral horror with incongruous jaunty melodies and quirky drum pad syncopation that is probably extremely disappointing for the ritual frowners but immensely fun for those of us who like to shotgun tallboys down at the gulch. C'mon, this dude scored Ghoulies...and his fuckin' dad produced it! Band has Hollywood pedigree but he actually landed his first industry gig in 1978 by walking right up to Halloween producer Irwin Yabland, who was poised on the brink of unprecedented indie success thanks to "The Shape", and simply asked for a job. According to Band he was given $1,000 and an opportunity to score a flick called Laserblast (never seen it) and he's kept himself pretty busy ever since. You should really check out his website cause he's selling autographed Troll cassette tapes for $10. Yes, autographed. Go ahead. I'll be here when you get back.