Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sega Tunes: Comix Zone
Genres: Special Interest, Soundtracks
... still just a rat in a cage!
Luke Rounda | Lawrence, KS | 07/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A part of the "Sega Tunes" series of soundtracks from their games (which also included "Virtual Sonic," "Vectorman," "Toejam & Earl 2," and "X-Men 2: Clone Wars," as well as a 5-disc boxed set), "Comix Zone" comes off as the least-contrived of the five OSTs in the series for the simple fact that the music in the game actually comes from somewhere contextually (Sketch Turner, the game's main character, is a comic book artist/rock musician).
Stylistically, the album successfully mimics mid-90's rock, like a commixing of the power of Nirvana and the complexity and bombast of the Smashing Pumpkins, but the result here ends up being much more straight edge headbanger fare (definitely not a bad thing). The thing to keep in mind is that this recording (which was composed, produced, engineered and performed entirely by Howard Drossin) contains modified arrangements of the Yamaha FM sound generator music found in the Genesis/Megadrive game, which is to say, it sounds a hell of a lot better, at the minor expense of some of the layering found in the original game music; the arrangements here are stripped-down to feel like a three or four piece rock band. The songs lack humorously (and perhaps intentionally) in the lyrics department, but one must also take into account that originally there were no lyrics to any of these tunes. With the quality of the music here, no one should mind.
"Comix Zone" is composed of nothing but strong tracks, beginning with the irresistibly anthemic "Into the Zone," which those who played this game should instantly recognize as the main title theme. Other standouts include "Feed My Disease," with its awesome beat, fast-paced dynamic shifts, and distorted fuzz-guitars like angry insects, and the more straightforward "Seen It For Days" (heard in the game when Sketch first drops into the sewers) which slings a propulsive, palm-muted guitar hook to great effect.
As for the unfortunate bits, certain vocal lines on "Woe Is The World" might have sounded better as lead guitar parts (the lines "And you shouldn't have to make it all alone // and I'd like to hear you say it on your own," for instance) and the bridge on "Last to Follow" (the first song you hear when you start playing the game) is just a bit too cloying, but when it comes down to it, the biggest disappointment about this release is that there are only six tracks when so many of the songs from "Comix Zone" deserved to be realized in full, living audio like this.
Drossin's songwriting talent displays a heady balance between pop sensibility, technical ability, and inventiveness that has been sorely lacking since the days just before grunge got "post"-ed. These are all songs that could have been radio hits had they not been produced for/associated with a video game. But that stigma alone shouldn't preclude anyone from finding and enjoying this soundtrack for what it is - a collection of superb songs played with talent and passion. If there's a better formula for great rock music, or music in general, I don't know what it is.
01 Into the Zone (3:04)
02 Feed My Disease (2:39)
03 10,000 Knives (3:22)
04 Seen It For Days (3:52)
05 Woe Is The World (3:00)
06 Last to Follow (2:40)"