When a game gets as many things right as Trials Evolution, it’s all the more noticeable when it gets something wrong. And man, this game’s soundtrack is all wrong.
It hits you in the face before the main menu has even loaded. This conflagration of spitty, grunted vocals, dry audio production and slightly distorted, overly-clear lyrics. Let’s listen to the opening track.
It just… sucks. It’s the video game soundtrack of the red-faced guy sitting behind you at a baseball game screaming “F**king Giants!” over and over. It sounds like a human scalp boiled in gravel-water. It sounds like a hot cinderblock sitting in an Arizona mall parking lot.
Very few types of music are just inherently entirely unappealing to me. More often than not, I can find some redeemable quality in whatever I’m listening to.
Limp Bizkit/Disturbed-style rap-metal is almost irredeemable — at least, I count it as one of my least favourite genres of music. So yes, the Trials Evolution soundtrack was coming in with the deck stacked against it.
All the same, there are bands in that genre that I don’t mind or even kinda like — if Faith No More qualifies, I dig them. I even like some stuff by Linkin Park. (What? They have some cool videos.)
But man, the stuff in Trials Evolution‘s soundtrack is just plain bad. In fact, saying it’s “plain” doesn’t do it justice. It is exuberantly bad, to the point that it’s almost charming… but no. It’s not charming at all.
Let’s listen to another one:
Just… it’s like ear-demolishment. It’s like listening to a blender after what was blending is done blending. This song grates like a Frieling stainless steel electric.
These are actual lyrics from this song:
I’m ready to go!
Time to let the muh muh muh muh monday night-ro!
Bloody hell. Is this an edited version? Was it originally the motherf**king monday night-ro? Actually wait, it doesn’t matter.
This is where we start to get to this article’s headline — this stuff is truly so wretched that it’s almost like they’re kidding. But even if they are… like… you know when someone blasts you in the face with a cream pie and it gets all over your shirt, which you then have to wear for the rest of the day? It’s like that kind of joke. It’s not funny because it’s happening to you.
Here we’ve got another one that supports the idea that this whole soundtrack as a joke, what with the rap-skit style “And now it’s time for a breakdown” announcer voice at the beginning. But again I ask… how funny a joke is it? Not very funny.
Somewhere along the way, the direction for this thing really went off the rails. Some basic, thick-ass rock would have sufficed. We didn’t need lyrics. We didn’t need attempts at so-bad-it’s-good-no-wait-it’s-still-bad rap humour. We didn’t need personality. Trials Evolution has so much going on on the gameplay side that its soundtrack doesn’t even need to be that incredible (though it would’ve been nice!) It really just needed to get out of the way.
And yet personality is just what we got. Grating, shouted, amelodic, wretched personality. I will forever mute it and listen to Highway to Hell instead.