Leave it to the maestro Alan Sinclair to elevate us all with a sickly sinister slab of synth. As Repeated Viewing, Sinclair has created a vast library of imagined scores to films that seem to have been torn from my own twisted imagination. As far as dark, heavy synth music goes Repeated Viewing raises the bar with each release; from the tense, era-precise sonic touches, the incredible pacing, the flawless narrative and world building, to the exquisite album art that Eric Adrian Lee creates that always captures Sinclair’s sonic vibe expertly every time.
With his newest release, once again partnering with the excellent Spun Out Of Control, Sinclair takes Repeated Viewing into the world of dysfunctional families, via of course a satanic biker gang. Coming out of coping with the lockdowns of 2020, The Family is filled with all the delightfully retro vibes of dusty late 80s video store rental boxes, this one scoring a story involving family tragedies, escaping guilt by filling the void with a far more sinister family(in this case a Satanic biker gang), and finding love in all the wrong places. Repeated Viewing has once again given us a score for a movie that doesn’t exist, but I damn sure wish it did.
The absolute genius of Repeated Viewing is the dedication to not only creating an engaging listening experience, but backing it with a narrative you can fall into. I’m mesmerized with each listening experience. Frozen Existence and The Beach are just two examples of Alan Sinclair’s incredible knack for measuring equally music with story. I use them because they are two personal favorites of mine. Those records lock tightly into their stories, which in turn makes me fully believe in the entire experience. There’s only a handful of artists within the heavy synth realm that do this right, and Repeated Viewing is an OG in this musical landscape. He’s the master of exploitation score work.
So with The Family, I poured myself a rather strong IPA, put on the headphones, and fell into this musical world. I could totally imagine Bruce Boxleitner as the protagonist, running from tragedy. I could imagine L.Q. Jones as the leader of the satanic biker gang, and Tuesday Weld as the daughter of L.Q. Jones’ biker gang leader whom Boxleitner found himself falling for. I could vividly see the dusty VHS box, with the Thorn/EMI emblem on the bottom right corner of the box, as well as that striking “Rated-R” on the bottom left. This would have been a rental I would’ve talked my parents into renting because of, well, satanic bikers and Tuesday Weld’s cleavage front and center on the video box art.
The music here locks into a grab bag of vibes and emotions. From the dark electro pop pulse of “Don’t Move The Body!” to the 80s strut of “Hitching” which strangely enough almost gives me a Mike Post/Law and Order vibe. “The Cult Is Real” goes full-on Francesco De Masi New York Ripper, which then explodes into an almost Gothic rock crescendo.
Sinclair mixes things up, giving The Family sonic roots in both 80s and 90s feels. “Daylight Raid” has sonic touches both in the neon decade and in the Clinton years, which makes The Family as a film concept much more fluid. “I Think She Likes You’ is all light and life, which is a satisfying switch from the more tension-filled pieces that came before. “Reverse Baptism’ is this free-floating ambient track, building emotional heft as the hazy skies clear to reveal light beyond the haze. Title track “The Family” closes things out with a driving, tension-filled finale.
The Family is yet another engaging, tension-filled sonic ride courtesy of Repeated Viewing. The Family is also further proof that Alan Sinclair, in an alternate reality, was one of our greatest genre filmmakers. On some alternate timeline Frozen Existence, The Beach, and The Family are cult classics that hung on the walls of small town video stores in the 80s. I’m sure of it.
‘The Family’ is out now digitally and in limited edtion cassette via Spun Out Of Control. Buy it here.