Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spindrift - The Legend of God's Gun (Tee Pee, 2009)

Not to deny the commercial ambitions of L.A.'s "psychedelic Western band" Spindrift or the fine folks at Tee Pee, but this soundtrack shouldn't be available for download or purchased at a record store. You're supposed to discover a beat-up old vinyl copy in a midwestern thrift shop, hanging out between warped Barry Manilow records and a cracked Victrola on sale for $15. Spindrift's dust-covered cinescape evokes some pretty specific imagery, none of which exists outside of celluloid: southwestern ghost towns, dust storms, laconic men in cowboy hats with three-day-old stubble and shadows a mile long. Yes, this is the realm of the Sergio Leone-style spaghetti western, inhabited by the gun-slinging preacher and outlaw bandito named "El Sobero," from the 2007 indie flick The Legend of God's Gun. Even the movie's title hints at the religious transgression you'd expect from a movie about immoral men made by a native of the birthplace of Roman Catholicism.

"Speak To the Wind"

"Indian Run"

While there's plenty of spare surf guitar twang and lonely harmonica drawl, not every cue here is straight Morricone worship. Native American chants and tribal drumming kick up dust; garage rock menace looms behind every broken saloon door. This score -- written mostly by Spindrift guitarist/vocalist Kirpatrick Thomas, who also conceptualized the film -- is drenched in lysergic organs and fried in the overblown lassitude of drug rock, both past (Velvet Underground/13th Floor Elevators) and present (Brian Jonestown Massacre/Warlocks, both of which share members with Spindrift). When the sun's beating down this hard and you haven't had water for days, you start seeing the same kind of shit you might if you took some bad acid. 

Spindrift's faithful reflection of a very specific style of film music sure as shit has the aesthetic down cold. Does it transcend the level of genre homage? No, but it's not really intended to. Like most of Tarantino's soundtracks,  The Legend of God's Gun feels hyper-aware of its own homage to bygone styles, but also hyper-confident in its mastery of them. Maybe Spindrift's other albums are more substantive or soulful; I haven't heard them. This soundtrack gets by just fine on style. 

Check out the trailer to The Legend of God's Gun:

1 comment:

Brandonio! said...

Thanks oh so much for the heads up!