Like it or not, “Scott Pilgrim” is very representative of the current movement of a hipster generation that’s all about Asian/Canadian heavy pop culture, Diablo Cody, kitsch, classic video games, Michael Cera, Ellen Page, Juno, pseudo-eighties, Moldy Peaches, punk rock, and the like that’s suited for the geeks and freaks of the world and I’ve managed to full embrace it. Generation X is over and gone, and that was a movement I despised more than anything. I happen to love the feel of the modern films that promote the geeky hipster lifestyle with the outrageousness of a new culture that’s not afraid to be wacky or cooler than thou.
The soundtrack for Edgar Wright’s film is a capsule of the film that happens to be one of my new favorite movie soundtracks of all time. I think it’s safe to say it’s about as good as the “Dazed and Confused” soundtrack when all is said and done. It’s about as epic and entertaining and raucous as that famed soundtrack with tunes that are just a mixed variety of mellow tunes that hearken back to the seventies and eighties, while the rock is more steeped in Garage punk that’s very downbeat and in the vein of “White Stripes.” The soundtrack here is not just tunes slapped together to remind us of the movie, but more songs taken from the movie or songs that are extended versions from the Wright film that actually manages to keep me entertained much more than I thought. At the moment the score and the soundtrack are available, so this is just the soundtrack I was able to listen to. Which is not to say that there aren’t any clunkers in the fold.
The songs “I’m so Sad, so very, very sad,” and “We Hate You Please Die” from Crash and the Boys are obviously just sound bytes from the movie that I bet are hilarious gags within the context of the film. But outside of the comfort of the film, they’re just awkward and weird little clips that make no sense to the casual listener. That said the rest of the soundtrack is really rather fantastic and rocks pretty hard. “We Are Sex Bob-Omb” by Sex Bob-Omb starts off the rock orgy with what is a wonderful little ditty that’s composed mainly of gritty garage rock that is assumedly heard in the actual film with mostly just consists of brief vocals written by Beck, while the rest of the song is reliant on the tough as nails guitar work and drums. “Scott Pilgrim” from Plumtree is a wonderful all girl anthem that’s about as enthusiastic and charming as a love song can get with an upbeat tempo and powerful vocals from the all girl band. The song that managed to influence Brian Lee O’Malley to create his cultastic “Scott Pilgrim” graphic novel series is about as raucous as you’d expect, and it’s clear to see where his creativity was tapped.
Frank Black of The Pixies sings “I Heard Ramona Sing,” a fantastic little melody riffing on the beauty that is Ramona Flowers. Through soulful vocals and a brilliant drum session, Black really does pound out the love letter to Flowers. “By Your Side” by the Beachwood Sparks sounds like a tune you’d hear in 1968 by a British Invasion group off the boat, a very enchanting and rather psycadelic love song that’s just impossible not to be enchanted with due to its ghostly background singers and morbid piano work that keeps this feeling as if someone yanked this from the depths of the beatnik fad and dropped it on to our time. “O Katrina!” from the Black Lips is yet another sixties vibed rock installment with the Georgia band invoking flavor of the surfer anthems along with a hint of Paul Revere and the Raiders. “Garbage Truck” from Sex Bob-Omb” is yet another frantic little garage punk installment with some surreal lyrics from Beck paired with some wonderful vocals and tight guitars all around. “Teenage Dream” is a bad ass reverberation of the teenage sentiment and the optimism that fills the youth and their hopes for something better out of life, “Sleazy Bed Track” from the Bluetones is yet another fantastic angsty British rock pop tune, while “It’s Getting Boring by the Sea” from Blood Red Shoes is a frantic little rock gem that’s high paced and picks up the slack when the soundtrack begins to lag in to more downbeat tunes.
Frankly I’ve never heard of Blood Red Shoes until now, but I’m intrigued and slightly excited by what they have to offer if only one tune of their can raise my energy so easily. “Black Sheep” from Metric is easily my favorite tune of the entire compilation as Emily Haines vocals are absolutely haunting and mesmerizing. I just fucking loved this track more than anything on this entire assortment of brilliant artists and have managed to play it four times since acquiring the soundtrack. I just can’t get enough of this song no matter how hard I try to back off and leave it be for a while. With the synthesizers, pounding drums, and Haines own booming vocals really helps this to stand out among some giants. “Threshold” from Sex Bob-Omb is yet another blaring little rock funkathon with a hilarious little prologue that sets off yet another love related yarn. “Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl” from Broken Social Scene is another really good combination of startling creativity with the super band combining their own talents to form a surreal mind-blowing little love song.
And is there any doubting the greatness that is “Under My Thumb” from the Stones? Not only is it one of my favorite Stones songs of all time, it’s also one of my favorite classic rock ditties of all time and bears a relevance to the source material about a guy who begins to grow fonder and fonder of a girl who disgusts him at first and then just enraptures him by the time the song has ended due to her reforming in to someone he can actually respect and admire. You just have to love it! Artist Beck offers up two versions of his ballad “Ramona,” one in acoustic form and the other in full on production mode with orchestra and guitar, both of which are unique in their own ways, but I was never fully sold on Beck. “Summertime” is the last hurrah from Sex Bob-Omb that’s yet another really bad ass rock installment while Brian LeBarton offers up the 8-bit version of Sex Bob-Omb’s “Threshold.” Only a select few who grew up with the 8-bit games will truly appreciate this incredible little combination of game glitches, theme songs, and video game sound effects that combine for an orgy of nostalgia and novelty that I just could not stop listening to. Truly it epitomizes the tone of the entire Scott Pilgrim idea.