Series 7

Girls Against Boys

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Series 7 Review

by Andy Kellman

For Series 7, an independent film that skewers reality TV with sharp parody and dark humor, director Daniel Minahan sought out Girls Against Boys, a veteran New York-via-Washington, D.C., combo known for a near-trademark form of maximum-strength rhythmic crunch. The soundtrack disc is mostly fine score material composed and performed by the band, along with a couple of fully realized songs that find the band picking up from where they left off on 1998's Freak*on*ica, if a bit more raw and crisp. "One Dose of Truth" is the group's poppiest yet, a new wave song with ideal keyboard shading that's true blue 1982. The purposefully hokey lyrics fit the theme of The Contenders, the TV show that Series 7 documents. (Similar to a third-grade spelling word assignment, Minahan asked GVSBs' Scott McCloud to fit the words "reality," "television," and "video" into the lyrics.) "Tweaker" is Girls Against Boys at their best, that potent blend of glitz and gutter. Their score, which skillfully provides the background to scenes both action-packed and emotional and up-close, is interspersed with sound bites from overdubbed announcers, such as lead-ins from different episodes and suspense-building intonations ("Real people in real danger..."; "These cats/don't have/nine lives"). Aside from the dominant Girls Against Boys material, there's a handful of other artists. MenKing provides the Kansas or Tesla-like "Wedding Serenade," an emotional acoustic ballad; prolific session musician Robbie Kondor performs the brief "Death Pact," a weepy acoustic instrumental; Julie Stephanek delivers the delicate "Sweetness of Mine," a ballad with accompaniment from Girls Against Boys' Eli Janney; and then there's Joy Division with "Love Will Tear Us Apart," the perfect tune for any doomed relationship.

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