Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2017 November 27 • Monday

The 493rd Soundtrack of the Week brings us back to a favorite composer, Akira Ifukube, and his music for The War of the Gargantuas.

This is Ifukube in full Gojira mode, deploying what sounds like almost the exact same orchestra in much the same manner. Heavy stomping brass figures, occasional bludgeoning percussion and thick spectral strings.

There’s really only a handful of cues, most of them similar to Ifukube’s Godzilla music. Some of them seem to be more or less those cues slightly altered. The dreadful main themes, the march and so on...

Two things that stand out are the use of what might be a vibraslap or musical saw or some such thing, and also a fairly cheesy 1960s-ish love song called “The Words Get Stuck in My Throat”, which has a cool electric guitar sound and some John Barry-like touches. (I’m guessing this was for a nightclub scene, which all Toho genre films of the period seemed to have been required to include.)

If you’re familiar with Ifukube’s soundtrack work, particularly his Godzilla scores, then you know what this sounds like and you’ve pretty much already heard it. But it is great music and a very welcome release, newly remastered and on the indispensable Cinema-kan label.