CD REVIEW: "The Present" Soundtrack

Surf film sountracks have become a staple in the Brushfire Records catalogue. Jack Johnson's label started by putting out the soundtracks for his films, and began to compile soundtrack albums for many of the films released by Woodshed Films, also owned by Johnson. This latest for Thomas Campbell's film "The Present" is very different from all the other soundtracks on the label so far. Many of the other compilations were heavily weighted in jazz and acoustic rock. This time around there is a comfortable mix between jazz and indie rock music, with a little prog rock thrown in as well. Galaxia Platform (Thomas Campbell's label) artists The Mattson 2 and Tommy Guerrero grace the soundtrack adding their west coast jazz style to the mix, while indie rockers Vetiver, Japanese Motors, and Cass McCombs are also featured with some of their best recordings. Bonnie "Prince" Billy also lends a previously unreleased track to the album and African music gets into the mix with two songs by the Ndabva Kure Band. The album goes from instrumental track to lyrical track and back again, taking you on a journey of sound that is a mirror image of the film it is derived from. The film is a unique and new look at surfing, yet still shot in the old school style that Thomas Campbell is known for. Much like the film, the album is also unique, well constructed, and intriguing and a welcome addition to the Woodshed/Brushfire mix.