If only the tension generally characterized by the Crystal Method’s contributions to the London soundtrack were as present in the film’s script, the movie may have gotten more attention than it did when it was released last year. London’s soundtrack is the first release to come from Tiny E Records, the Crystal Method’s own record label, though it’s not nearly the California breakbeat-dealing duo’s first stab at theme music. They’re responsible for the majority of the tracks on the soundtrack, but Sweden’s Perishers have a reasonably memorable go at a love song and ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre members manufacture a color copy of the Chocolate Watchband.
The Crystal Method’s opener and title track for London is built around a singular guitar melody, treated with a little tremolo and a swimming flanger effect. The beats quiver beneath this relaxing, down-tempo blend before the jump-off breaks of Evil Nine’s “Restless,” from its likeable 2005 offering, You Can Be Special Too, an album spotlighted previously by the Crystal Method on its Community Service II mix. All of the Method’s cuts here are lively and rich, with the exception of “Smoked,” featuring pointless hype-man yells from Troy Bonnes, who also contributes a skippable track. “Glass Breaker” is a sluggish trip with smoky Rhodes accompaniment and an ominous, dramatic synth string overture, complemented by the Method’s very worthy invitation to Charlotte Martin for vocal duties.
Guests outside of the breaks realm do their part, if not as well as the Crystal Method does. The wanton, Sunday-morning balladry of the Perishers’ “Nothing Like You and I” rides heavily on the coattails of The Bends but might easily work in a “study hall” capacity — its Dawson-and-Joey-friendly vocal underscores the kind of teenage crush drama only Kevin Williamson could script. It’s hummable, compact and gorgeously uncomplicated. It might be better than being beaten up on stage in your former band, but the Out Crowd’s also uncomplicated here: that band’s “C’mon Children” isn’t the Small Faces cover that the title suggests, but it retreads the stoned stumble of the Chocolate Watchband’s “Are You Gonna Be There (At the Love-In)” to a T. Tsk, tsk
The Crystal Method, “Smoked” MP3 (Right Click Save As)
The Out Crowd, “Son of a Bitch” MP3 (Right Click Save As)