Dull soundtrack struggles with same problems as film

Sometimes bad movies have good sound tracks. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels isn’t one of them. The soundtrack suffers from the same flaws as the film – it’s tragically bland with a few colorful moments.

What could be expected from amateur British filmmakers who tried vigorously to mimic elements of highly successful gangster films? Sadly, the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels soundtrack, like the movie itself, is the geeky younger sibling of Pulp Fiction and Trainspotting.

The album begins with a new track from old-school British underground rockers Ocean Color Scene. The band’s “Hundred Mile High City” starts off with raw drum-driven energy. Unfortunately the song pounds into oblivion. The beat refuses to vary, and random synthesized riffs make the song taper off uneventfully.

A movie sound bite follows “Hundred Mile High City.” Sound bites from the film provide an intermission between all songs on the soundtrack. Most of these bits are pathetic. They try to capture the hard-core nature of the film with stiff, unnatural references to drugs and crime such as “We grow copious amounts of ganga.” Consistent with its tackiness, this sound bite is followed by a reggae track.

Songs such as “I Wanna be Your Dog” by the Stooges and two James Brown selections contribute to the diversity of the album, but they also reinforce the album’s wannabe tough attitude.

The album’s finest moment is Dusty Springfield’s 1970 classic hit, “Spooky.” This song adds unexpected sensual groove and intrigue, and its inclusion makes the album seem promising. “Walk This Land” by E-Z Rollers is another keeper with a creative beat and smooth electronic tempos. It has the mood of driving music with a dance beat. Another noteworthy moment is the 1970s funk classic “Why Did You Do It” by Stretch. It gives the soundtrack a nice dose of disco-induced fun.

Though the soundtrack includes some ear-friendly hits, the album’s few successful tracks are numbed by grating, repetitive songs such as Evil Superstars’ “Oh Girl” and Pete Wingfield’s “18 With a Bullet.”

A handful of good songs is not enough to save this album from becoming just another insignificant movie soundtrack. As a whole, the album does not have the punch characteristic of soundtracks such as Pulp Fiction and Trainspotting.

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