Release DetailsLABEL Artists' Addiction Records
RELEASED ON 10/23/2007
Saw IV Original Soundtrack
posted on 10/2007 By:
I’m sure that like the other movies in the series, Saw IV (I can’t believe there has already been four of these. Next: Saw, In Space!) will probably be another perfect example of what’s wrong with big-budget modern Hollywood horror movies: Instead of taking the opportunity to be original or to, you know, scare the pants off your audience (Guys that watch these flicks with dates know exactly what I‘m talking about. A big brodude high fiver for you), we get shameless, capitalism-inspired product. The same lame boo-scares, the same “tension-building” moments featuring replaceable meat puppets--that I’m supposed to feel sympathetic for, mind you--in dire situations, and, as fellow Metalreview.com critic Jordan Campbell put it, the same convoluted plot twists that would make even Agatha Christie at her least lucid say, “You’re kidding, right?”
Not surprisingly, the Saw IV soundtrack fits the movies perfectly, but, maybe not in quite the way you might expect. Instead of the producers doing something incredibly unique like, say, placing the guys from 20.SV in the local mall with an axe, a handheld recorder, a huge dose of acid and PCP, and asking them to record the results (And, in the interest of ducking incoming lawsuits, DON’T do that), we’re only treated to a thrill-less collection of been-there-done-that dreck; a few bright spots, sure, but not enough to justify handing over your hard-earned denaro to a studio hungry to suck your chained wallet dry (If this business practice is in question, never forget this simple fact: They have made four of these). In fact, I’m convinced that you could travel to any junior college in the continental United States, ask a random student for a mix, and receive something VERY similar to what arrived on our doorstep (Want to test it out? Find the ones with the liberty spikes and then mentally prepare yourself for the nu).
And, I’m not kidding, this did land on our doorstep in some very suspicious packaging. All-around awesome guy Dave Pirtle and I went out to fetch it and, just like that, it was lights out for both of us. We awoke in a rundown bathroom chained to some rusty pipes. A tape recorder sat in the middle of the room right next to an unmoving body (“Jason…Jordan?” I cried). We hit play and we heard the following: “Dave and Ian…do you want to play a game? You both must review the Saw IV soundtrack in real-time. Then, find the can of bug spray hidden in the body next to you before the album ends. If you fail, you’ll be covered with fire ants and the rabid and extremely horny anteaters will be released. The golden squirrel croons to the moon during Tokyo’s noon. Matt Br-I mean, Jigsaw. Good luck.” True to his words, the soundtrack kicked on, and, before we knew it, we were banging this bitch out on the spot. Here, for your enjoyment, are snippets from the Jigsaw’s transcripts:
Nitzer Ebb - Payroll (John O Mix)
Dave Pirtle: Industrial music should soundtrack all horror/torture movies. It’s cold and mechanical just like the antagonist should be. You can envision some poor sap bound to a chair, being poked, prodded, stabbed, slashed, drilled, etc. Uncomfortable for more than that reason are the dominatrix-inspired lyrics. Inclusion of this particular Nitzer Ebb track is a pretty blatant disregard for their legacy.
Ian Chainey: I can’t lie, I absolutely hated this, thinking it was the result of someone trying to record a cover of "Suck My Kiss" over a leftover Crystal Method track and the sound bled through on the tape (Anyone remember that band A? Exactly like that!). But then, and this is a big but (And we‘re talking a Vida Guerra-sized interjection here), I looked up the Nitzer Ebb name and these were the first words I read: "Highly influential industrial." Whoops! What a cred killer! My ignorance is not blissful in this case. In my defense, it's a different (newer?) mix, which, I realize, isn’t going to stop the industrial heads from burning me at the stake. At the very least, I thought it was funny to lead off an obvious cash grab with a song entitled “Payroll.” Also: “You want to suck it/ You better sit down.” Did I hear this right? What is that about? Did they get some dollars from the “Alliance Against Needless Rug Burns” to stick that line in there?
DP: The snotty, punkish vocals may not be the best fit, or the lyrics, but the music works here. This begins the unsettling trend of wildly inappropriate subject matter on the soundtrack.
Drowning Pool - Shame
IC: Thankfully forgoing the now-cliché bodies hittin’ the floor route (Aside: Thank god that that and Saliva‘s “Click Click Boom“ are no longer en vogue), the producers have instead pulled a track from the Pool’s recent Full Circle release (the jokey title will become clear when you sneak a glance at the cover art). It’s still typical of the band’s older material--roaring, yet fully controlled guitars and angry, angst-ridden lyrics--but the sorta hooks that sorta set them apart from the nu-metal crowd have been replaced by this newer cookie-cutter, fresh-from-the-test-tubes Alice in Chains clone meets Full Devil Jacket vibe. It’s not surprising that soundtrack staples appear here, but what’s up with this direction? And who is the new throat?
DP: I’ve always been on the fence with Drowning Pool, and I had high hopes when they recruited former Soil vocalist Ryan McCombs for their third album but was disappointed with the generic results. That being said, this track doesn’t do anything for me, and far from the best choice to cross-market said new album. The heavy groove and moody vibes aren’t bad but doesn’t evoke much of a response. There is a bit of anguish in there, though, which is a plus. Kudos to you, Ian, dropping that FDJ reference – nothing screamed generic grunge/nu-metal like they did!
IC: Anyone that reads me knows this: If there’s one thing I know, it’s generic grunge/nu-metal. And, great, Drowning Pool has joined the ranks of bands I can pull out when we’re playing Six Degrees of Oppressor and Broken Hope. Oh, joyous day. I’m trying really hard not to whistle “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” out of my asshole here. Finally, I love this line: “Don’t you speak my name/ I will shame you.” Direct instructions to their fan base regarding metal message board etiquette, perhaps?
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Misery Loves Company
DP: There is a lyric in this one that says “You’re destined to fail.” Well, these guys certainly fail to contribute anything worthwhile to this disc. They deserve to be shot based on their name alone.
IC: Instead of, I don’t know, sticking with the industrial theme throughout this album and asking Misery Loves Co. to contribute, we get a song titled that instead. Thanks. This is the obvious “girlfriend” song selection, the one cut on every mix that’s supposed to quell the complainin’ from the passenger seat that the music is “too aggressive.” This’ll make ‘em clap like seals (Armchair psychologists: How many bad relationships have I been through?). I was catching a strong Alexisonfire vibe from this in the beginning, but, I’ve decided that The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is the first band I know of that can claim The Beautiful Mistake as a major influence and be completely serious. I really hope some kid, blinded by his multicolored swoop eats an axe while this is playing in the movie. Jigsaw: “Now your heart’s really on your sleeve!” Hollywood, give me a deal, c’mon!
DP: I was thinking the same thing – Misery Loves Co. would have been perfect for this soundtrack. Those guys were suffering incarnate: “I'm happy with my misery / Please leave me be / There's nothing wrong with me, you see / I'm happy with my misery.” They made Morrissey sound like the captain of the pep squad.
IC: Oh my god! The body in the middle of the room! It’s moving!
Jason Jordan: For more on Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, check out their cameo in the MTV tour de force The Hills, during which Lauren and Whitney party hard a la Andrew W.K. and are chastised for their carefree antics!
IC: Ladies and gentlemen, resident superhero Jason Jordan.
Ministry - Life is Good
DP: The Last Sucker is another great Ministry album, and I like that this track is included here. Not only does it bring more of the harsh industrial sounds it so badly needs, the damn thing is called “Life is Good” – cheap irony, but I like it anyway, Who would have thought that a song about Iraqi war vets coming home to a country not at all improved by their efforts would work in a horror movie? Must be the mental trauma thing.
IC: You know, I’m not the biggest Ministry fan, I only own three albums (the ones that everyone else owns), but I respect the shit out of the band. I kind of feel that this is the lone cut on the album that’s there because people will enjoy it instead of being there for some shady cross-marketing bullshit. I’m not sure how I feel about the newer stuff, mainly since I haven’t heard any of it besides this lone joint, but it feels good listening to it and I can’t ask for more than that. I’m sure this fits like a toddler in a blender in the movie since Ministry just goes so well with adrenaline pumping mortal terror or tongue-in-cheek hack ’em ups. Solid, solid, solid.
DP: This fits much better than “Tonight We Murder” when it was included on the Demon Knight soundtrack, which reeked a bit too much of their very early synth-pop days.
Every Time I Die – Werewolf
IC: Culled from Every Time I Die’s (listed as Everytime I Die here) recently released The Big Dirty, “Werewolf” is exactly that: big n’ dirty. Hardcore’s recent fascination with filthy rockin’ riffs is in full swing here, with the added bonus of some glam metal schmaltz thrown in (see: opening verses, hook). In typical ETID fashion, the track finishes up strongly on a groove. This being my first experience with the band’s post-Hot Damn! material, I’ve got to say, I can’t understand the hate. It’s a fun, shallow little ditty, nothing more, nothing less. I think the fact that it doesn’t try to be anything more than that kind of negates the hate, right?
DP: Alright, who let the party in here? I’m digging it, though, despite some really cheesy lyrics like “Which one of you ladies will get into my heart?” Of course, they also sing “You don’t live until you’re ready to die,” which is much more fitting. Oh, this is Every Time I Die, you say? That makes sense, and I’ll let them slide.
IC: The song itself is totally not good, but maybe I just have a soft spot for bands who sound like they’re having fun. Speaking of, as I sit here in the dark, I wonder: How many hardcore bands did Buckcherry influence? Am I stupid for catching this vibe? Keep your wits about you, Sir Buckley (Buck-ley. Buck-cherry. C'mon! Obvious!), or you might be a couple of bad career moves away from belting out “Lit Up” on the county fair circuit (Refresher: The “I love the cocaine” song. I'm sorry for reminding you). At the very least, if that does happen, tell REO Speedwagon I said what’s up. Keep on rolling.
Skinny Puppy - Spasmolytic (Deftones Remix-Habitual Mix)
IC: Originally from Too Dark Park, the oft remixed “Spasmolytic” gets done up again, this time by someone from the Deftones (I'm guessing Chino Moreno, also of Team Sleep fame). Chino transforms the track into a pretty basic rock/dub version with low bass buzzes and a steady, repetitive rhythm. Popping up from time to time is the original vocal track, twisted a bit to fit into the more dub oriented atmosphere (I’m constantly reminded of Mick Harris’s Scorn, even though Scorn does this so much better). Not a highlight, but I think it’s passable and pleasing, which is a line of thought that is driving Dave nuts.
DP: Goddamnit, Ian, if I could see you right now I’d kick you right in the back of the head with your own severed leg. I don’t hear a song, only some faux-industrial garbage. My first thought was “There’s no way this is Skinny Puppy,” only to find out it’s a Deftones remix? Fuck Chino Moreno and his band of musical vandals. The original version of this song would have been fine, but I guess the producers thought they’d sell more records with the Deftones name on it. Shame on you, record producers, for unleashing this disgrace on the public. The “Hamster Dance” would be more fitting.
IC: Fantastic, now I’ve got that stuck in my head. Da da de da de da doh doh doh DAMNIT. I’m driving my car straight into a PetSmart if we get out of this.
Oxygen - Do You Want To Play A Game
DP: Fucking Nickelback now? Some sound-alike band? What a joke – if you’re trying to drive me to kill myself, you’re on the right track. The lyrics sound like this could have been written for the movie, talking about bleeding and cutting flesh, but lyrics like that should never be crooned like Tim McGraw. Complete and utter garbage.
IC: I was readying myself for some amazing Chad Kroegerisms (“It's just a little hard to leave/When you're going down on me” Oh man. Somewhere, Stephen Thomas Erlewine is scowling), but, when he actually starts a-singing, he sounds like Sully Erna. Of course, I wasn’t expecting that at all. It’s like finding out the next day that the chicha that was a freak-a that you made out with at the club really had a dick-a and was your boss. And that next day is the worst. Any time you’re at the water cooler bending over, you’ll be looking between your legs. Not…that I’ve been there. No. Anyway, to be nice and fair, I could see this hitting alt-rock radio and making a fairly big wave. The hook is pretty poor, but it’s not worse than anything else on there. Maybe they should hit the studio again and sneak in a “Supaman that ho.” Then and only then will you have a chart topper.
DP: Fuck you, I’m not saying anything else. I’ve already given this band more of myself than they deserve
Fueled By Fire - Thrash Is Back
DP: Probably the best track here, but I’m not sure what business a thrash metal anthem has on a horror movie soundtrack. A good investment by Metal Blade, though, who will hopefully sell a few more copies of Spread The Fire as this soundtrack makes the rounds with the kiddie crowd.
IC: While I wasn’t too shocked by some of the heavier stuff that was dropped on the second half of this album (The Red Chord has crossover potential. Seriously. Stop laughing), this threw me for a loop. It’s thrash from a newer band, sure, and, yeah, thrash is experiencing a bit of a revival, but this is a fairly mainstream soundtrack to a fairly mainstream movie. How are the above-grounders going to handle this? Well, I hope. This was a highlight, not only because it’s executed pretty well, but for the classic “What the fuck?!” look that it demanded from me when it kicked on.
DP: Why not “Striking Death” or “Massive Execution?” Well, it does stick the theme of wildly inappropriate lyrical content. Fueled By Fire makes me smile, though, as I’m sure Jigsaw does while watching his victims suffer, much like we smile watching poseurs get slaughtered in the pit.
Charlie Clouser - Just Begun
IC: The final track belongs to Charlie Closer, featuring segments of his score. The most notable thing is the production, with huge, full percussion, schizophrenic string scraping, and suitably heavy industrial guitars. Other than that, it’s almost a parody of the industrial-themed soundtrack selection. Starting off sounding like an extremely bored modern IDM outfit (think a lobotomized Aphex Twin, maybe), it moves into a movement nicked from Ministry, and finishes with the ultra generic, driving horror string quartet backed by cavernous drum loops and mock “found sound” layers. Divorced from the visual, it’s super boring, plodding, and, considering that each movement isn’t given the proper time to mature, it sounds like a mess. Boo.
DP: Again I have to disagree with you, sport. Maybe it’s just the blood flowing from my ears, but this is comprised on the best elements from the best songs here: cold industrial rhythms, metal guitars, and dark, evil ambience. They should have just released the score as the movie soundtrack and been done with it, rather then assembling this mish-mash.
IC: That we can agree on. I don’t understand why Hollywood just doesn’t offer Aaron Funk a lifetime supply of 40ies to lay 40 minutes of unsettling drill n’ bass down for their shit slasher (Lustmord worked on Tomb Raider for christ‘s sake. These people can be bought). Either that or plunder some avant-classical, guys; it’s hiding in the vault waiting for you. Whatever, let’s wrap this up and find that bug spray. Jason fuckin’ Jordan, get back here!
DP: My bros in A Band Called Pain made it onto the Saw II soundtrack and it’s a shame that there are no undiscovered gems in this pile. I almost feel bad for the likes of Ministry and Fueled By Fire at having to be forced to share space with the likes of Oxygen and Submersed. This collection just makes no sense. I doubt anybody but Charlie Clouser actually made it into the movie. The only reason someone would buy a soundtrack of previously released music is if it somehow captured the vibe of the movie. Reservoir Dogs is a good example of that. Even Alone in the Dark had the novelty of showcasing the best metal bands from the biggest metal labels.
IC: God, I hear you! I’d rather have a collection of deep and obscure album cuts than a mix of bands blatantly trying out material to see if it's single-worthy. Here’s the thing though: I spent a couple of paragraphs slagging the franchise in the beginning, but you could do a lot worse. Looking at my pants like they’re half full (this is the worst optimist joke I’ve ever made. Remember this day), at least this has highlights. But, then, it’s got tracks from SixxAM (Sadly, not what Nikki Sixx yells before plowing groupies), Soulidium (Sadly, nothing more than a Trapt cover band), and Submersed (Sadly, Linkin Park worship) stinking up the joint too. To be honest, on the whole, it’s just a sad state of affairs, especially since this is supposed to be advertising a movie that features an anti-hero/villain whose main goal is, according to wikipedia, “teaching people the value of their own lives.” Whoa boy, Unintentional Ironyville, here we come.
DP: You know, we probably should have smashed this tape recorder a long time ago, and used the battery acid to burn through these restraints. But apparently neither of us is quite that bright. That’s probably why we keep eating these raisins on the floor, too.
IC: On a completely unrelated topic, I like how your name can be shortened to DP. Strangely appropriate. And, Dave, what’s up with these raisins that are crawli-wait…ants…Oh no! Anteaters! RUN! MY FACE! IT BURNS!
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