Dan: Yeah, as an anime-idiot, I was thinking about Heavy Metal a bunch. The graphic violence, questionable nudity, and overall bong-hit ambiance felt very familiar and oddly comforting to me, a person who definitely watched Heavy Metal on DVD in college. I'm glad these are still the pulpy tropes and dopey clichés that artists reach for when they want to do something "badass" and "frickn' sick, man," and I can picture teenagers watching this together in a basement -- if teens still watch things on basements that aren't TikTok videos. The switching up of the animation style didn't distract me much because it mostly reminded me of The Animatrix, another common anime entry-point for dummies like me.
On the whole, I thought the movie was a blast, but a couple parts really stood out to me. My favorite section was the deliriously choreographed dancing to "A Good Look," a really fun song that sounds like Queens of the Stone Age doing AM radio boogie-rock. I was also really into the live-action(?) section with the flaming skateboard and the woman in the yellow hazmat suit, which had strong Back to the Future vibes. It struck that satirical mix of irreverence and dread that I associate with '80s movies like Escape from New York, They Live, and The Running Man. Did you have a favorite part? Also, as a Sturgill-noobie, what did you make of the music?
Leanne: College kids and teens are definitely gonna love all the anime tiddies in here! Which conveniently leads me directly to the part that was most fun for me, too: that dance bit/story recap/character introduction during "A Good Look." Having your core cast do out-of-character dance routines is a big trope in anime intro sequences that you'll see all the time, from slapstick-y series like Assassination Classroom to more serious fare like Death Parade. That inclination actually has real roots in Japan: it's based on Parapara dancing, which is essentially choreographed, synchronized moves that you'd associate with boy bands and girl groups, that first got really popular in the '80s at the same time Euro-disco and new wave was getting big. I agree, the skateboarding sequence was also tite, and I'd be remiss not to mention the rock n' rollin' "Last Man Standing" where the cute cat gets incinerated (RIP cat), along with the rest of the world. Always fun to kick off the apocalypse with some high-energy tunes! Then, the post-credits fight was a fun, satisfying way to cap it all off. Decapitate those frickin' bad guys!!!
I enjoyed the music, but to be totally honest, I don't know that I'll go back and listen to the album on its own. I'm rude, I know!!! Obviously, in this dialogue-free setting, it's what pushes the whole thing along, but at the same time, I didn't find it the most compelling element amid the zaniness of the animation; it was a backing track to me that got overwhelmed by explosions and people getting their arms and heads cut off. I acknowledge my logic is faulty here and I won't make excuses for it, but Sound & Fury didn't quite make me a "fan" of Sturgill as much as I have a deeper respect for his artistic vision and what he's doing for the country genre. As a Sturgill stan, how does Sound & Fury work as a standalone album for you?