Reviews | Written by Nick Spacek 28/11/2019

DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE (OST)

DON'T GO IN THE HOUSE (OST) / COMPOSER: RICHARD EINHORN / LABEL: WAXWORK RECORDS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

Richard Einhorn's score for the 1979 Joseph Ellison grindhouse nasty Don't Go in the House has heretofore never received any kind of official release. Leave it to the folks at Waxwork Records not only to dig up the original tapes, but figure out a way to take the disparate cues and tracks and compile them into a double vinyl LP, suitable for home listening.

Given the sheer number of short pieces used throughout the film, to the tune of eight or nine individual tracks per LP side, the folks at the reissue label have chosen to create four separate suites - Baptized in Flames, The Room of Steel, Flamethrower, and We Hate You - for each LP side. The end result is a release that might not be as unified as most listeners want in a record standing apart from the film, but certainly makes for a varied, interesting listen. If nothing else, the sheer variety of styles, aping everything from the burbling of Hot Buttered's Popcorn to the droning of Bebe and Louis Barron's Forbidden score, keeps things varied.

The piece which starts Flamethrower Suite is some of the cheesiest lovey-dovey synth work ever. It's supremely florid and lush, and while being completely over-the-top, only reinforces the concept that this double LP is a wide-ranging mishmash of stylistic choices. The xylophonic pings make another appearance immediately thereafter, swiftly switching musical gears in a manner which is only tolerable if the listener is willing to accept Don't Go in the House as a compendium or library record than a score with an overarching musical thematic unity.

The music is fun and weird, for the most part, especially with the sheer number of thematic variations taking place within any given suite. We Hate You kicks off with a piece which might as well play under a pulsating label ident on a grainy VHS tape, and ends with a downtempo version of the same, running through any number of intense or oddball electronic genres on the way.

It's a fantastic thing to own Don't Go in the House as a double vinyl LP, especially given the striking Marc Schoenbach artwork which adorns the front, back, and inner gatefold jacket. The record sounds quite good, although it's a bit crackly here and there. Waxwork continues to go with the heavyweight poly sleeves, instead of shrink-wrapping their records, and even goes the extra mile to have the huge sticker on the sleeve printed onto vinyl, meaning there's no chance of it wearing or tearing.

The unfortunate thing is that, while interesting, and absolutely stellar for use as background music while one does chores about the house, no particular cue of Einhorn's stands out vibrantly enough, nor does it stick around long enough, to make much of a lasting impression. It's not bad, but unfortunately nor is it particularly memorable.