One of the perks of celebrity is that you always get a second chance. And Vincent Gallo has followed up last year’s meandering, well-intentioned When, which gave folks yet another reason to hate this self-absorbed model/actor/filmmaker/artist, with an appealing collection of scores and outtakes from four of his films. The nonchalance and disaffected cool of Gallo’s film æsthetic notwithstanding, Recordings connects you with the frustrations, ideals, and occasional glimpses of optimism that run beneath the surface.
What’s more, the music — exuding ghost-town minimalism and fleeting, prog-rock ambiance — stands on its own. A stark, deserted primitivism flows from his artful guitar lines on "A Falling Down Billy Brown" and "A Somewhere Place," recalling John Fahey or the soundtrack to Zabriskie Point. The distorted kicks of "Dum Beet" represent the lone souvenir from Prince Vince’s early-1980s b-boy days; it would have been nicer still if he’d let the beat go on for more than 17 seconds. A lovely, pirouetting clarinet leads "Her Smell Theme"; "The Way It Is Waltz" and "A Cold and Grey Summer Day" boast a bustling saloon piano. Given the desolate, ragged soundscapes this release conjures and the genuine emotions it resonates with, you might be asking yourself whether film or music is Gallo’s true calling.