Muchi Muchi Pork! Original Soundtrack
Muchi Muchi Pork! Original Soundtrack
January 21, 2008
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Carniverously inspired, coated in peak, and featuring an obese woman as the unlikely protagonist, Cave’s latest shooter Muchi Muchi Pork! was going to be a select taste. And certainly not mine, still the austere masculine vegetarian you all know me to be! Yet I eagerly anticipated its soundtrack from Pink Sweets Ibara‘s team having enjoyed practically all of Cave’s previous releases. Given the game’s subject matter, I expected a frivolous humorous score that would compensate for its limitations on an intellectual level with a great capacity to be enjoyed. Just two minutes into my attempted consumption of the Muchi Muchi Pork! Original Soundtrack, however, I found myself inclined to vomit. Not quite everything on the score was obnoxious as the first stage theme, but the score remains one of the most disappointing I’ve encountered in a long time.
Aesthetics prove a problem from the very start of this soundtrack; the first track features a loud group of girls barely comprehensibly calling the title of the game fortunately for just a few seconds. The select screen music comes across as desperate to motivate itself as its title “Yuke Yuke Go Go!” suggests. Unfortunately, the problems don’t end there. The first stage’s “Doki Doki in the Sky” reminds me of some hyperactive J-Pop that I find intolerable; its whiny introduction reminds me of a little girl shouting ‘Look At Me! Look At Me!’ over and over again, while its poorly synthesized lead melody insists on revolving on the same notes and grating ideas over and over again against purely functional light rock-based accompaniment. As a trained musician, I consider it to be musicality of the very worst kind, but its theoretical deficiencies are not the principle reason why I hate it. My attempts to mindlessly enjoy it failed after its intrusive core elements repeated so many times over its 3:07 playtime that my ears started to bleed. I found no humour or fun in listening to something so persistently irritating. A complete train wreck.
Most of the remaining stage themes are tolerable, though don’t fully redeem the score. “Uki Uki Arcade” will provide an image of a camp person strolling a street doing disco moves with its comical melody and drum beats. “Hamu Hamu Pepper” is somewhat like the youthful light synth-focused jazz pieces Noriyuki Iwadare likes to produce. It’s a little better, but are still unimpressive due to the complete lack of variation from the same ‘in your face’ ideas. Probably the best addition to the score is the fourth stage’s “Rabo Rabo Factory”. It’s written in the same style as the other pieces with a demanding introduction leading into an unimpressive melody. However, the harmonies are a little bit more substantial here, with random beats emulating the sounds of factory noises, and there is also a brief tangent into an industrial section that gives some much-needed contrast. The final stage’s “Iza Iza Main Dish!” is a brass- and piano-dominated anthem clearly inspired by The A-Team’s TV theme song. This is one of the few fairly humorous additions to the score and easily the most extensive, but still feels like a bit of a cheap parody.
The battle themes lack the obnoxious character of the stage themes but are weak in their own way. The normal boss theme “Un Un Thorium” immediately establishes a good rhythm and percussive timbre, but soon destroys the dynamism of the encounters and the soundtrack by focusing on feeble repetitive two note motifs for almost its entire duration. “Gan Gan Titanium” is based almost entirely on varying the pitch of sounds emulating hitting metal grating; while quite novel at first, there is no instrumental contrast in this attempt to create industrial music and the fast-paced electronic harmonic runs feels almost completely unrelated to the lead. Its counterpart “Ura Ura Uranium” tries to achieve distinction with its disorientating 7/4 metre and reiterations of a foreground motif above descending chord progressions. However, the basal ideas are so weak and the extent of repetition so strong that this isn’t even superficially affecting. “Un Un Hexium” is a generic hard techno piece that reminds me of the weaker efforts on Streets of Rage 3; it has none of the drama and variety needed for a final boss theme and is yet another disappointment.
The soundtrack doesn’t quite end there. There is a monotonous funk-inspired epilogue and a jubilant credits theme based on some of the ideas featured in the first stage theme. Following the easygoing name entry theme, Natsuko Naitou returns us to the realms of annoying J-Pop… this time with real vocals. “Muchi Pork!” features an upbeat female voice singing fast-paced lyrics in the verse and repeating the phrases “Muchi”, “Mu Chi Chi Mu Chi Muchi”, and “Muchi Muchi Porko” a disturbing number of times in the chorus. The 3:47 playtime feels more like eight minutes and there isn’t even a single instrumental solo (no matter how atrociously derivative it would have been) to break up the vocals. A 10 minute voice collection mostly featuring whiny Japanese voice actresses follows. It is quite amusing to hear some of the composers attempt dramatic voice acting, especially Daisuke Matsumoto’s attempt at being deep and serious as the character Major Sirloin. There are also a handful of camp fanfares cluttered around the score, three of which end the soundtrack after a short but perhaps relieving total playtime.
The Muchi Muchi Pork! Original Soundtrack should come with a health warning. For it to nearly induce brain melting on a durable young chap like myself makes me wonder what affect it might have on the standard consumer. While some stage themes are moderately enjoyable and the boss themes are effective in context, the majority of the album is charmless and irritating. Given it was created by a team of five composers, its low quality and quantity (just 35 minutes of music and, nope, no arrange section) are unforgivable. This album is recommended for those who enjoy superficial camp music, but most audiences will find it intolerable.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.