One of the best aspects of the music Alan Sinclair produces as Repeated Viewing is the fact that, for all of the faux mythologizing regarding his imaginary film scores, they actually tell a story through music. One can create artwork, a backstory, or some semblance of a plot summary, but all of that means nothing without music which could actually soundtrack said scenario.
Repeated Viewing nails it, every time, and Street Force is no exception. Essentially a revenge flick in the vein of Death Wish, but far dirtier, the music on the album pays homage to the work Herbie Hancock did for the Charles Bronson actioner, but ran through a low(er)-budget Italian filter.
The tracks here are alternately beautiful - opening cut, Family, with Alessandro Cassini on piano is an excellent example - or grittily dirty, like chase tracks Pursuit and Running. Those two are positively coated in grime - the latter in particular - and demonstrate the wow and flutter that laves one wondering if maybe these might have been pulled off an unearthed 35mm film reel found in a back room somewhere.
If there's anything which gives up the gag, it's the fact that these Repeated Viewing tracks are a little too neat in terms of their simplicity. The most enjoyable vintage Italian scores always tried to do as much with a little as they could, whereas the Street Force album is a little too comfortable in its minimalism.
Something like Doubt works well, because it's one for one of those wandering the streets, hands in pockets kind of scenes which inevitably sees the film's protagonist sitting at a kitchen table, smoking a cigarette and staring into the middle distance. It's just a tone and a slight rhythm. One does wish a bit that there were a few more over-layered, messily-complicated tracks like Searching, whose surprising electric guitar really nails the tone of the revenge genre.
The cassette release we received is the second edition, and comes on a two-tone tape of red and black. The cover art is the usual excellent pastiche of genre icons -- masked killer, weapons -- along with a badass muscle car. The great thing about Repeated Viewing album covers is that they feature iconography of the genres from which they draw influence, but don't exactly create an actual fake album cover or movie poster. It's the tell which indicates this is homage, not parody.
Again, a wonderful homage from Scotland's Repeated Viewing. In addition to digital and cassette from Spun Out of Control, it will soon see release on vinyl from Giallo Disco. No matter what your media preference, this is an album worth owning for any synth or genre heads out there.
STREET FORCE (2016) / COMPOSER: REPEATED VIEWING / LABEL: SPUN OUT OF CONTROL / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW