The Lone Gunmen and Harsh Realm/Mark Snow

September 1, 2010

As many of you know that as a reviewer I seldom get out of the box and listen to something new and modern. I had seen a few episodes of Lone Gunmen, wasn’t particularly impressed one way or the other, and frankly paid no attention to the Mark Snow soundtrack. Frankly, the idea seemed a bit over the top and rather corny as a television show goes. When I plopped this CD into my player I thought I’ll give this one five minutes and go onto something else. To my surprise after hearing a Jimi Hendrix style Star Spangled Banner to open the CD it settled into the main theme which proved to be infectious and suddenly all eighteen tracks were interesting and I found myself humming this simple but highly effective melody over and over again, as well as giving the CD several listens. The keyboards and guitar, which I would normally find too loud, were playing this theme which I really liked.

Having a look on IMDB revealed over 200 entries for Mark Snow with over 30 years of television work, most impressive. The Rookies, Hart to Hart, T.J.Hooker, Millennium, Smallville, X Files are just some of the work he has done for television. Nominated fifteen times for an Emmy without a win; it still seems to be one award that has escaped him. However he has won 28 other awards so he has been well honored and respected in the industry.

As quoted in the liner notes by Julie Kirgo from Mark Snow. “You want to make something that sticks” is definitely the key to the The Lone Gunmen. If there was a tempo and style Mark found it and the material is comedic to serious to mournful to Latin and other styles all included on the eighteen tracks. So a word of caution please! Listen to a clip or two and make sure you like the theme. If you do it will be a fun time for you to listen to it mixed in with some patriotic Star Spangled Banner material. If these older golden ears enjoy it I’m sure that you will as well.

Harsh Realm, a short lived show also from Chris Carter, is a completely different animal as far as a soundtrack is concerned. While there are some similar styles (compare “Overlooking Tradition” with “Sling Blade”) the overall material is quite bleak sounding and is certainly not one to play for a first date. I was reminded of material such as Alien right from the beginning. You get that feeling of desolation, no hope and nothing but terror and darkness. This score will likely have appeal to the fans of the short lived television show, Mark Snow, or one who enjoys the darker side of music.

If these wax filled ears can enjoy this music I think that at the very least have a listen to the sound clips available and explore. Good sound, interesting liner notes, and the usual fine job from James Nelson at Outland.

La-La Land Records LLLCD 1135

Track listing:

1. THE LONE GUNMEN Main Title (00:45)

2. Empty (00:23)

3. Motiv-8 (01:37)

4. Just What We Needed (02:42)

5. Lost Causes (01:05)

6. Rectal Palpation (01:44)

7. G.I. Jimmy (02:14)

8. The Vaults (02:30)

9. Lost Puppy / Confession (03:30)

10. Elmer’s (02:28)

11. Sawsall (05:13)

12. El Palacio (01:56)

13. 13. El Lobo (01:37)

14. Sling Blade (02:23)

15. Wool / Poly Blend (01:40)

16. Tailing (03:44)

17. Memories Of Youth (01:12)

18. THE LONE GUNMEN Theme (Alt) (00:49)

Tracks 1 – 18 from “The Lone Gunmen”

19. HARSH REALM Main Title (00:46)

20. Overlooking Tradition (01:28)

21. The Wound (02:35)

22. Love Letter (02:26)

23. Virtual Vista (01:00)

24. Chain Gang (01:45)

25. Jump Back (05:33)

26. HARSH REALM Main Title (Long) (03:22)

27. The Challenge (01:57)

28. Thirsty (02:40)

29. Trickster (03:47)

30. Two On A Switch (02:33)

31. Roadblock (03:50)

32. The Conspirators (01:22)

33. HARSH REALM Main Title (Full) (03:45)

Tracks 19 – 33 from “Harsh Realm”

Total Duration: 01:16:21

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