" Dialogue, songs and a brief but cool score by Brian Tyler "
Written by Thomas Glorieux
- Review of
the regular release
Six-String Samurai was greeted with a great deal of excitement when shown at Slamdance in 1998, winning the Slamdance awards for best editing and cinematography, and gathering extremely favorable reviews from influential alternative, cult and indie film publications. It is billed as a post-apocalyptic musical satire. Brian Tyler composed the score for this film along with the Red Elvises, the latter providing the majority of the soundtrack. Considering it was one of his first ever scores for a movie (the year before he composed the music for the independent film Bartender), nobody knew Brian Tyler would become the composer he is known for today.
Now, you have to consider that Six-String Samurai is a funky piece full of electric guitar coolness, groovy rhythms and percussion, mostly performed by the rock band Red Elvises. Their contribution is the most notable on the disc at first (both instrumental as songs), but composer Brian Tyler's intentions are clearly noticeable too. Staying in the same style of the Red Elvises, his music equally focusses on the guitar and percussion. The main theme is briefly hinted in "A Mother's Hand / Buddy" and a weird combination of trumpet and guitar makes "Astro" quite peculiar to listen to. But the more the album progresses, the more Tyler's music starts to form itself.
The main theme returns with an ethnic vocal in "Relentless Sun", the vocal led "Over the Hill" brings forth the first sign of the foreboding electric guitar motif that will get new meaning in the latter tracks, we hear ethnic flute in "A Boy and his Spirit", a cool guitar tribute is heard in "Dragging a Fallen Hero", that foreboding motif returns in "Bend Before the Ways of Heavy Metal / Dueling Guitars" and most notably in "The Great Battle", creating an amazing sense of doom, all before that guitar coolness, vocal effects and fetching synths create a fitting demise for our hero. And to close it off, we have a profound final tribute to the hero in "End of a Hero / Finale".
In truth, Six-String Samurai is damn cool when Tyler messes with the already eclectic source. The songs from Red Elvises may set the tone, it's Tyler's score that continues with it, and much more profoundly. Sadly his cues are short, making some sort of development quite meaningless. It's only in the final tracks he's given a couple of minutes to shine. And luckily those minutes turn out to deliver the best of the entire score. His main theme may be a typical one if you hear it today, it still sounds fresh. And that battle cue is surely 3 minutes of stylish coolness. Not enough perhaps considering everything, but a Brian Tyler fan will definitely find something to like here.
1. United States Of Russia * (1.04)
2. Neverland (0.12)
3. Love Pipe: Red Elvises (3.17)
4. A Mother's Hand / Buddy (1.01)
5. Fly Away Little Butterfly ... * (0.35)
6. Kill 200 Men * (0.12)
7. Boogie on the Beach: Red Elvises (2.47)
8. I Do Not Like Rock And Roll * (0.11)
9. Hungarian Dance #5: Red Elvises (3.05)
10. Arrowed Kid / Bowlers on the Floor * (1.07)
11. Rock N' Rolling Ourselves to Death / Jerry's Got the Squeeze Box: Red Elvises * (2.19)
12. Lonely Highway of Love / Scorchie Chornie: Red Elvises (4.38)
13. My Darling Lorraine: Red Elvises (2.52)
14. Astro (1.30)
15. Follow the Yellow Brick Road / Leech: Red Elvises (0.43)
16. See You Around Kid / Siberia: Red Elvises * (3.29)
17. Good Golly Miss Molly: Red Elvises (3.05)
18. My Love is Killing Me: Red Elvises (5.47)
19. Sacred Funeral (1.01)
20. Relentless Sun (1.47)
21. Over the Hill (0.47)
22. Bring His Guitar to Me / Sahara Burn * (0.55)
23. A Boy and His Spirit (1.00)
24. If You were Me You'd Be Good Looking / Surfing in Siberia: Red Elvises (4.48)
25. Dragging a Fallen Hero (1.04)
26. Nice Tuxedo / Showdown at Not Okay Corral * (2.10)
27. Bend Before the Ways of Heavy Metal / Dueling Guitars * (0.58)
28. Dream March (1.01)
29. The Great Battle (2.46) Excellent track
30. End of a Hero / Finale (2.14)
31. On My Way to Vegas: Red Elvises (3.50)
Total Length: 61.26