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Nathaniel Levisay's Score of "The Toy Soldiers' Gets a Rockin' Review!
Film Music Magazine
By Daniel Schweiger
Not to be confused with a classic early 90s movie about terrorists invading a boy’s school, this is instead an epic-length 80s look at the events during the closing night of a titular roller rink, during which five stories boogie down on teen angst. The soundtrack is certainly spot-on for the period, beginning with its underscore by Nathaniel Levisay (“Fading of the Cries”). He’s a composer who’s certainly listened to a lot of Tangerine Dream, circa their classics like “Risky Business” and “Miracle Mile.” He does an exceptional job of recreating the especially icy, pulsing groove. But it’s one thing to emulate, and another to put new soul into it, something that Levisay’s work does get better at when it starts going beyond the retro synth gear approach for more emotional, guitar-topped cues that bring out the inter-connected character’s sense of ennui, along with a more traditionally string-driven approach that stands for the composer’s own voice. It’s an overall muted, nicely introspective approach with a near religious sense of angst, its soulful pain coming across in shamanistic voices and church organ-like samples to go beyond the Edgar Froese mock-ups that at first limited it. The final song section of the “Soldiers” soundtrack is equally effective, with the bands Daily Bread and Gliss impressively raising the ghosts of such proto-Goth bands as The Psychedelic Furs and The Cure – their excellent vocals and guitar-rock grooves for teen pain so rhythmically, and romantically palpable that you can practically smudge the eyeliner from them. In any case, it’s nice to have a soundtrack where it sure ain’t disco pushing its young skaters down the rink to angst.
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