AUDIO REVIEW: WOLFCOP (2014) / MUSIC: SHOOTING GUNS / LABEL: ONE WAY STATIC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
When you create a movie like WolfCop – a wonderful, exciting, fun, genre-smashing picture combining action and horror – you need a score that does the same. Thankfully, Canadian quintet Shooting Guns' music for the lycanthropic shoot 'em up fits the bill perfectly. Melding huge Sabbath-y riffs with creepy minimalistic electronic work, this quintet has managed to bridge the gap between Kyuss and Carpenter.
It's that extreme set of sounds, and the difference between them, that works the best. Too much of one or the other begins to show the limitations of either style, but the pieces which meet in the middle demonstrate exactly how much the pairing can work. The most effective combination of the two musical styles is the three-song suite which begins the second side. Freebander and West Coast Turnarounds begin with quiet electronic flourishes, each gradually adding in guitars and bass, ramping up the rock 'n' roll elements until Spy in the Sky takes the swirling synths and transforms them into guitar distorted into a wave of fuzz.
It's then followed by the brief explosion of rock fury that is Bait Car, making an effective case for the second side of the WolfCop score to be the better of the two. It works as a cinematic auditory journey, accurately conveying the second half of the movie itself, but also working as a standalone piece which transports the listener via a series of rises and falls.
On the first side, Hounds of God has atonal electronic elements familiar to any fan of Forbidden Planet, as does Wulver, and while they are as disconcerting as anything, they really do a better job of conveying fear and discomfort when quite effectively contrasting the sludgy blues rock of the opening cut, Lycanthrope. While nice as a collection of singular sounds, it doesn't work as well as the non-stop second side, which really demonstrates what Shooting Guns can do.
The limited edition vinyl is well worth tracking down, if you can find one this far removed from MondoCon, where the score was available as an exclusive. It comes in an old-school, tip-on gatefold sleeve, and the release is on a slightly-marbled blue vinyl LP. It blasts out of your speakers like a lost '70s stoner masterpiece at its loudest and most raucous moments, but the electronic pieces still manage to convey their subtle message, as well.
Shooting Guns' score for WolfCop can also be downloaded digitally from their Bandcamp page.
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