My Brief Liner Notes for Mad Max Fury Road
Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL has quickly solidified a position scoring for Sci-Fi and fantasy genre. Now with Mad Max Fury Road, he has created a masterwork that will be cemented as among the great film scores of all time.
Within the driving drums and growling guitar riffs lie a chaotic harmony straddling the line of rock opera and present day action film. This direction is made abundantly clear in the track Blood Bag, which is also the track where the advent of the near 2 hour chase begins. Hard drums stimulate the warboys as they crush over the desert in their rigged instruments of destruction. An ominous chorus chants to us that Immortan Joe is ready for blood. The 1:32 mark comes a moment where the entire audience understands the desert punk spirit of the film comes from. This is the introduction of the guitar and in the track it begins to permeate all other sounds. In the film, the guitar shoots flames as it is accompanied by a strung out and strung up war boy who is wonderfully post-apocalyptic in appearance.
The chase throughout the film is underscored by a wondrous blend of electronic gasps and a quickly repeated four note break which is introduced in Spikey Cars. This theme drives nearly every moment of tension in the film. Keep in mind that drums are the force behind practically all of the chase tracks of the score. Other great tracks include Chapter Doof and Brothers In Arms, which has the tense four note break, but also introduces a heroic variant of the theme.
There are also moments of reflection in the film appropriately underscored by reflective tracks My Name is Max, Redemption, and Many Mothers. These themes are gorgeous and serve as the soul of Max and Furiosa’s story: undying hope against a landscape of hopelessness.
This score is complete in every way and delivers on the epic ideas of George Miller, and serve as a fabulous companion to the Brian May scores that drove Mad Max and The Road Warrior. Miller’s Mad Max films are adventurous and this score is a magnificent musical adventure. One more note: the chase tracks can fuel a workout, and if you hit all of your goals, play Let Them Up, you’ll feel like a champ.