Zombie Zombie – …Plays John Carpenter (2010)

In a sense, reviewing this album seems somewhat redundant. As soon as you discover there is a French electronic duo monikored Zombie Zombie who cover the music of John Carpenter you’re either going to be intrigued, or nonplussed. Despite the futility of the exercise then, let’s take a look; is it good, or as pointlessly bewildering as the concept promises / threatens?

‘The Bank Robbery’ throbs into life with undulating, pulsating synths and a stark drum machine backing providing a moody crisp, rhythm section. As the song kicks into life, it can’t decide whether to be an energetic dance number or a moody atmosphere piece. The juxtaposition is what breathes life through the song. A couple of years ago people were going ape-shit over the Drive soundtrack, this shows the debt that movie owed to Carpenter.

‘Escape From LA Main Theme’ begins like Tangerine Dream stuck in a Gameboy. A plaintiff keyboard riff acts as your guide. The drums turn the screw to give the song the pace of a hummingbird’s heartbeat following a game of squash. Fraying at the seams as the song draws to a close, the album is purring along like an E-Type jag.

‘Assault On Precinct 13 Main Theme’ sounds like a slice of 80s synth pop, with bloated, corpulent synths. Slowly building, this is another example of how the low-end rules this album.

‘Halloween Main Theme’ kicks off with another skeletal drum backbone with the recognisable tune fading into the background. Capturing the horror tone of the original while happy to explore the song’s ideas.

‘The Thing Main Theme’ that recalls Neu! and the glory days of krautrock not just due to the glossy motorik beat but the song’s ability to cruise along under its steam without any major diversions. Over the course of 7+ minutes the song ambles around, perfectly contentedly, like a cat in charge of a tower block.

So, pointless review aside, if you are intrigued by the concept you should be damn happy with the results. Intricately pieced together, bold, confident and stylish, this album is highly recommended. Unless you never liked the idea from the get-go, in which case, why are still you reading?


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