People know that I absolutely adore cinema. It’s been a staple of my likes for as long as I can remember. Especially the post-apocalyptic subgenre of film, there’s nothing more interesting than the end of the world and the time after it. Mad Max is one of those innovative little films that it’s director, George Miller, calls “A b-movie film with a-movie aspirations”. It became much more than that, and this artist Tom Stuart (aka Occams Laser) takes you right back to Australia in a few years from now with “The Road to Fury”, a 2015 release with epic instrumentals, and vocal tracks that make you get right into it.
The first track “Main Force Patrol” sets the mood, and Stuart’s voice is perfect for narration, has he describes the plot from the very first movie, when the world passed on from oil crisis. It even has some very descriptive details in there about the lore of Mad Max, including the motorcycle gangs. Good settings, good opening vibes. The second track, entitled “The Road Warrior”, places you right in the drive’s seat, gives you some determination, and forces you on a journey. It tells a story, without even needing words, all it needs is some visuals and it would be a bona fide perfect trailer track for Mad Max 2 or even Beyond Thunderdome.
Speaking of Beyond Thunderdome, “Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves” is the raging battle sounds of Max Rockatansky and Masterblaster, involving roof climbing and chainsaws. Even chanting done by Tom himself works to the effect of isolation with a man who wants to do nothing but kill you in a small cage, being gawked at by chanting freaks and geeks and Tina Turner. The actual lyric based tracks kick in at “Face The Wheel”, which I don’t know if it’s inspired by The Road Warrior or Fury Road(I’ll be watching it soon), but it’s really good. I don’t mean good. I mean, REALLY good. Vocals feel cheesy, adding to the effect of an 80’s action film, I could totally see this topping charts back in 1982.
“Just Here for The Gasoline” is definitely high-point track for me, not my favorite, but still amazing. It starts off very slow, foreboding, mysterious, like a wastelander’s arrival into a desolate town, and just like his motivations, the song reveals it’s true colors with it’s fast-paced synths and guitar rocking in the background. So perfect.
Now for the nitty gritty of Mad Max, the cars. One of the cars is Max’s classic V8 Interceptor, painted jet black and armored enough to look like an iron monster. “The Last Of The V8 Interceptors” is the theme of that V8 Interceptor, and it definitely fits the descrption just given, the song even includes engine revving and squealing tires, it gets slow then fast then all out 1980’s, magnificent. The title track, aka, “The Road To Fury” is exactly that, a road to fury. It’s a journey, an experience, a long burning and empty highway waiting to burn rubber on and drive through. It sucks you into the desolation of the apocalyptic settings fueled in the films. It is amazing how this album isn’t popular, it deserves the recognition. We’re not done here yet though, oh no.
“Furiosa” is the eighth track next, the title taken from the female lead character from Fury Road, and this one also has vocals. It tells a story of revenge, happiness, passion, and above all revenge again. “Now i’m lost behind the wheel” is the perfect line to this entire album thus far into our viewings of Occams Laser’s amazing work.
Now I’m not Captain Walker, I’m just the guy that keeps you all at home at bay. So here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna pop in the track “The Vermin Have Inherited The Earth”, you’re gonna listen to it for a long time, and you’re gonna be thankful this song is here, it’s catchy, disco-esque, and above all still fitting into the Mad Max vibe. The Road Warrior is the biggest and most beloved of all of the Mad Max films, and this track gives it the recognition it deserves. My personal favorite is the original Mad Max, with it’s opening few minutes, which includes the Nightrider and his rantings of speed and ruling. “Fuel-Injected Suicide Machine” is a tribute to the literal incarnation of motor oil and human flesh and bone combined, all with a cool V8 Interceptor again, and “Toecutter” is recognizing the original Toecutter gang from Mad Max as well, with some cool hi-hats and cymbals, with the upbeat feeling it works really well to a motorcycle chase.
Yet again with character songs, “Captain Walker” cannot be left out, it’s pretty good. It’s pretty low-key from the rest of the tracks, but it still has the shredding in the background to say something, as if to speak up and say “Here I am, I’m Captain Walker, here I am”. Here it is indeed, but not the twelfth track, the final track. Number thirteen. The character track dedicated to Mel Gibson’s character, the track dedicated to the man behind the movie, with lyrics included, “Max Rockatansky (The Ballad Of)”. It’s unsettling, lyrics fitting the character undeniably well, vocals amazingly sung by Stuart, and it’s just amazing how much work and effort was put into this entire album. It does have some faults though, like some chord progression is similar to other songs in the album, but it doesn’t matter as the overall feeling of each track is different. Godspeed to this album, godspeed to Tom Stuart, and godspeed to Mad Max.
Final score: 9/10.