The film music of Bear McCreary has been in extremely high demand in recent years, with the USC graduate's work for such high profile television series as The Walking Dead, Defiance and Battlestar Galactica earning the young musician and composer high marks for his versatility and ability to combine melodic themes with anxious, palpable tension.
McCreary gets to cut loose here on his score for writer/director/actor James Rolfe's Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, crafting a score which brings to the musical table the classic eight and sixteen bit video game sounds of old, together with a full symphonic orchestra, and even some energetic heavy metal. The end result is a satisfyingly balanced affair which, according to the composer, served as "the most fun score I've ever produced."
Take a cue such as "Zandor's Tale," for example; one whose dramatic, swirling strings and barely-there electronic backing track support could have easily found there way onto the set of a big budget fantasy or science fiction. Meanwhile, other tracks"Save the Fans," and McCreary's arrangement of songwriter Kyle Justin's "Angry Video Game Nerd Theme" utilize there sort of shimmering, eight bit pulse present on such formative video game scores as Megaman, Final Fantasy, Castlevania and The Legend of Zelda.
McCreary's respectful treatment of the film's source material-i.e. the classic video games from Atari, Nintendo and Sega-fits in perfectly with Rolfe's character of The Angry Video Game Nerd, a passionate and foul-mouthed video game reviewer whose YouTube videos quickly earned an equally passionate and devoted fan base since its online debut in 2006. McCreary had previously collaborated with Rolfe on the Angry Video Game Nerd's X-Mas special video, yet the composer truly delivers the goods here with a varied, dynamic and memorable score which serves as one of McCreary's best scores to date, from any of the myriad of genres with which he's worked.
Elsewhere, McCreary's brother Brendan also contributes to the AVGN score, with two tracks in an over the top 80s metal style, the first of which, "Nerds Before Birds" is a fantastically catchy throwback to glam/hair metal excess with a driving rhythm not entirely dissimilar to classic AC/DC. "General Dark Onward" is another track which combines Bear McCreary's symphonic, classical score abilities with a menacing electronic pulse, creating the perfect villainous theme to lead into "Unidentified Flying Nerd," a cue which is equally driving, yet with a bright 50s sci-fi vibe which fits in perfectly with Rolfe's noted love for classic monster movies of old.
Indeed, there's little to complain about here on Angry Video Game Nerd: The Soundtrack, as this collaboration between James Rolfe and Bear McCreary hits the proverbial high score, earning 1Ups and continue credits galore for this most excellent trip back to 80s video game nostalgia.
ANGRY VIDEO GAME NERD: THE MOVIE AND SOUNDTRACK HITS VIDEO ON DEMAND AND DIGITAL MUSIC SITES SEPT. 2ND