The Spinto Band – Biba!

Posted by on December 7th, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Score: 6/10
The Spinto Band 
Park the Van Records

What kind of album makes the listener want to sit on a tropical beach and sip mai tais while scarfing down a plate of pasta with giant meatballs? The kind that makes up the soundtrack for a spaghetti western set in the South Pacific.Well, it’s not really a spaghetti western, but The Spinto Band’s score certainly makes it sound that way.

Biba! 1 Island, 879 Votes. is Ben Bloodwell’s new feature documentary about the island of Tinian, located on the eastern edge of the Philippine Sea. The island’s ruling clan, a rich and influential family, is being challenged by an impoverished clan for control of the island.

The accompanying soundtrack is given a beachy overlay, which makes sense considering the setting of the documentary. Steel guitars and soft percussion draw the listener into the tropics, but the heavy use of filtered keyboards and electronic instruments push the balanced sound of Biba! into the 21st century. Airy wooden flutes drive “Biba Flutes”‘s melody, the light timbre evened out by quiet shakers and woodblock beats. The tropical instruments in the military traditionals (“When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic”) keep them from sounding too cheesy.

The soundtrack does not do much to promote the film or its subject matter nor does it stand on its own. The score is just a collection of beach-influenced melodies that have been written before. It’s not enough to encourage anyone to see the documentary or to check out other Spinto Band releases, which is the ultimate goal.



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