October 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Cabin Fever  
Music composed by Nathan Barr & Angelo Badalamenti
  Available on La-La Land Records (LLLCD 1008)   Running Time: 76:32
Purchase from: http://www.lalalandrecords.com/CabinFever.html

cabin fever

It's very difficult to write innovative horror film music. The truth is we've heard it all before, the wailing, the droning, the atmospheric stings and screeches and so it's not at all surprising that Nathan Barr produces a good deal of material that sounds rather familiar. But that being said, his instrumental palette is at least a little more interesting than is often the case, although melodically there is still that same old horror score quandary with the ambience overpowering the music itself. As for Angelo Badalamenti's contribution, he only provides a fairly routine love theme, first heard in 'Paul and Karen' and a typically breezy, jazzy theme in his accustomed style for 'Deputy Winston'. There are also several songs included on the CD like the frenetic 'Shitstorm' performed by Your Mum and the reasonably catchy 'Wastin' Time' by Scrappy Hamilton.

For all the good intentions of creating something remarkable in terms of horror film music, as outlined by director Eli Roth in the sleeve notes, this is a score that will work a treat coupled with its images, but as a stand alone piece it's hardly riveting and any appeal it may have will entirely depend upon your own (disturbed) sensibilities. If you enjoy scary music with the emphasis on heavy sound design then I'm sure this will hit the spot, but it's all rather remote and melodically deficient. But as that was of course the intent here, there's little more to say. Despite this, whatever the merits of the music, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the film itself!

Mark Hockley

**(*) 2 1/2

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