Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
This edition of Memorable Music in Gaming has a very PC-heavy slant. Including one title that shows up twice with different songs.
It’s no secret that Hotline Miami has one of the greatest soundtracks in recent video gaming history. Fueled by legendary names of the so-called “synthwave” genre – Perturbator, MOON, Hydrogen, to name but just a few – the OST is one of the best encapsulations of the 80’s aesthetics. Picking the best track from both games is a momentous task – however, Silver Lights by Coconuts (I should probably listen to more of their stuff) comes pretty damn close. It’s not overtly 80’s in the traditional sense but it does neatly fall in the “noise music” genre which *surprise surprise* I also happen to love deeply, madly, truly. There’s something epic about seemingly endless repetition of feedback noise that I’m unable to explain in a clear manner.
Why don’t you listen to a fine example of noise music and come up with a description yourself? 🙂
Mother 3 (SNES) – Natural Killer Cyborg
I’m one of the perhaps 5 people on the planet who doesn’t passionately love the Mother/Earthbound series. Before you start hurling tomatoes, let me just say that I did enjoy the series – but only just. I mean, the hit-and-miss, absurd humour and eccentric boss battles are entertaining, and I acknowledge most of it is ironic and deliberate, but I’m afraid I’m just not the intended audience. Not enjoying the gameplay and narrative as deeply as required doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the music as much… far from it. Though this is the first time any track from the Mother series is making an appearance in MM, expect a good number to follow in future articles.
Until then, enjoy this rocking and surprisingly catchy tune that has some of the best drum beats I’ve heard in my life. If you don’t find yourself bopping your head 3 seconds in, you need to reset and try again.
Mother Russia Bleeds (PC) – Putrid Waves
Doom metal is my favorite heavy metal sub-genre. I love the loud, sometimes-atmospheric quality of the songs, the haunting, hollow vocals, thick guitar riffs that sound as though gasping their last breath, and the feeling that yields from no other genre that somehow the music is manifesting itself into a physical yet invisible presense in whatever area you’re in. Like the smell of petrol that magically feels heavy and real on your tongue (ever felt that before?), likewise the very air around you becomes felt, as though that invisible monster is gaining mass by the second. Perhaps you like your music soft and bubblegum, but for me doom metal is the ultimate king of all genres – even if it is itself a sub-genre to the real thing.
Anyway, Mother Russia Bleeds is a very new game, and already its OST is one of this year’s finest. Right from the opening title the intense cacophony of noise that greets you practically yells at you that IT! MEANS! BUSINESS! And to make sure you’ve been paying attention to its screams, the game throws a bucket of ice-cold water over your face – in the form of the appropriately titled Putrid Waves. To call this track the standout from the rest is, frankly speaking, a bit of a stretch seeing how every damn track is a masterpiece in its own right… but Putrid Waves is a teensy bit better by virtue of being heard during the first boss battle.
Mother Russia Bleeds (PC) – Main theme
This is the game’s way of injecting you with blood-thirsty adrenaline throughout your body so that you can be prepared for the visceral carnage that’s inevitably going to unfold in massively gory detail in front of you. If you’ve never been injected in your life before (or were too young to remember it), well now you know better!
Saya No Uta (PC) – Schizophrenia
I’ve personally never played the game: I only watched the playthrough on YouTube – and even then, there was something striking about it. Something that exceeded far beyond the visuals, subject matter, music, characters, and indeed the dialogues they shared. I don’t exactly know why but I found familiarity betwixt the abnormal, disturbing imagery and the questionable monologues of the protagonist, despite the game being a visual novel with still images. I’ve experienced a couple of visual novels in my life but none hit as hard as Saya No Uta (“Song of Saya”.)
I guess as someone suffering from borderline schizophrenia and the occasional loss-of-time confusion, I was able to understand (and appreciate) the upsetting and gory imagery. Don’t take this as how I see the world (I really do not) but yet somehow I’m able to relate to it on a deep (and inexplicable) level.