Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2023 July 24 • Monday

We are on one of a few short summer vacations. And what better way to celebrate than with Richard Band & Joel Goldsmith's score for all-time box-office smash summer blockbuster Laserblast? It's our 788th Soundtrack of the Week!

The main title uses synthesizers as if they were orchestral instruments to create a satisfyingly heavy and dramatic theme that has surprising lyricism, somewhat similar to the Madonna song “Live To Tell”.

“Mom’s Leaving” is a very short and sad-sounding cue for flute and cello in unison. It might be synthesizer versions of those instruments, of course.

Things get pretty cool with “Billy’s Radio #1”, presumably source music and a pretty cool rocking groove with a wailing synth solo over solid rhythm guitar, bass and drums.

Then there’s another sad-sounding cue, this one with piano as the main voice, for “Grandpa and Kathy”.

Things get more cheerful with “Billy’s Radio #2”, same band but with electric piano instead of synthesizer and a bass solo this time. It’s in 6/8.

“Deputy Chase” is a lampoon of silent movie piano music, almost as bad as saloon piano from western scores.

Then more radio! But this time it’s “Chuck’s Radio #1”, with distorted electric guitar soloing and a more aggressive drum part.

“Alien Blasted - Billy Finds Gun - First Laserblasting” is a long name for a short cue, mostly tense and suspenseful music with interesting blending of electric and acoustic instruments, most notably percussion.

A beautiful love theme featuring strings and flute is next, for “Billy and Kathy”. It’s a bit similar to Joel’s father Jerry’s “Ilia’s Theme” from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Agreeably weird synth sounds as well as electro ostinati shape “Aliens in Ship - Alien Boss on Screen” while “Tony Discovers Black Spot” is almost a lower pitched, more low key version of the same thing.

Another 6/8 groove for the band, with the distorted electric guitar returning is brought in for “Party Music”, followed by the delicate and sensitive “Love Theme After Fight”.

Some long tones from the synth create eerie and ominous textures for “Billy in Mirror - Chuck Goes to Car”. Just in time for “Chuck’s Car Gets Blasted”, a synth piece with a pulsing undercurrent and some synth brass sounds.

Low throbs, high ostinato, long tones and an intriguing flute line make up “Tony Arrives at Police Station” while “Operation Montage - Dr. Mellon Examines Billy” uses acoustic guitar, synth trumpet and long tones.

Nice use of delay on some gentle and mysterious synth lines gives “Lab Montage” an unsettling quality before things get more troublesome with the gradually building and almost avantgarde “Billy at Gas Station”.

The love theme returns for “Billy and Kathy Make Love” but as so often happens, love making is followed by “More Laserblasting”, a great cue with an almost paranoid edge to it, lots of little percussive bits and a monomaniacal piano part.

“Chuck’s Radio #2” is a straight-up rocker with electric guitar and piano soloing.

Martial snare drumming is brought in for the strong conflict music of “Billy Battles Plane”, to be followed by a longish cue, a mini-suite, “Billy Blows Town Up”.