FILM SCORE MONTHLY, Volume 4, Number 5

The Paper Brigade ***
Ray Colcord
Citadel STC 77122 21 tracks - 47:30

   The Paper Brigade is apparently a children’s movie about the adventures of some newspaper delivery boys and their conflicts with local bullies who muscle in on their turf. While in real life this would probably end up with somebody getting shot, the movie looks something like an Extreme Sports version of The Family Circus.

   I dreaded putting this CD in my stereo, but it turns out to be an enjoyable little romp of an album. Ray Colcord has wisely followed in the footsteps of Elmer Bernstein and Danny Elfman, not by copying their musical styles, but by getting into the hyperbolic mindset of childhood. To these characters their situation is war, and Colcord scores The Paper Brigade like a frenzied, propogandistic war movie. There are plenty of touches of comedy (the score seems to touch lightly on every conceivable genre, including westerns-he tackles the opening “Into the Trap” cue as if it were something out of The Magnificent Seven), mock creepiness and horror (“Suckers”), romance (“True Love”), and Gershwinesque drollery, but most of it is adventurous and bristling with energy. “The Papermeister” starts off with hammering rhythms that call to mind Ron Goodwin’s 633 Squadron, and “The Rookie” blasts out some Coplandesque brass fanfares. People who go crazy over things like The ‘Burbs should enjoy this one.

Jeff Bond