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The Gridiron Gang by Trevor Rabin

The Themes of Fall: The Music of Football and Film  - Tracksounds Special Feature

The Gridiron Gang

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The Gridirong Gang (Soundtrack) by Trevor Rabin

The Gridiron Gang
Composed by Trevor Rabin
Varese Sarabande Records (2006)

Rating: 6/10

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Listen to this soundclip of The Gridiron GangA Baddington Game (346 kb)

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“THE GRIDIRON GANG is another decent effort from Rabin, although it does not reach the heights of REMEMBER THE TITANS or poignancy of THE GREAT RAID, it offers more of the softer-side of Trevor Rabin - making this score ironically special.”

Off the Grid?
Review by Christopher Coleman

No stranger to sports-themed films is composer Trevor Rabin.  With films such as GLORY ROAD, COACH CARTER, and REMEMBER THE TITANS on his trophy shelf, Rabin jumps onto the field again, this time with director Phil Joanou for THE GRIDIRON GANG.

THE GRIDIRON GANG is based on the true story of one Sean Porter, a California Youth Authority employee, who sees that their efforts to rehabilitate their young inmates is not working.  To remedy this Porter (played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) forms a high school football team in an attempt to build self-esteem and respect within each player while also teaching them a respect that crosses even the jagged-lines of L.A. gangdom.  THE GRIDIRON GANG, while filled with sports, outcast, and inmate clichés, and a mediocre script, does have its moments of feeling and inspiration.

Composer Trevor Rabin helps bring life to the films better moments, although few would consider this one of his most original or overall inspiring efforts.  That said, the listener will find those unique ingredients that Trevor Rabin is known for.  There is an inspirational main theme and that gritty-synthetic element. Quite surprisingly there are quite a few moments of quiet contemplation and thoughtful-emotion in THE GRIDIRON GANG.  The end result is a score that has more to offer than one might expect...and in ways one definitely wouldn't anticipate.

Like so many of TREVOR RABIN's recent works (FLYBOYS, THE GREAT RAID) THE GRIDIRON GANG features a strong and inspirational title theme.  Rabin is truly one of the best at crafting just that.  About half-way through track 2, "We're Better Than This," we get our first, bold, statement of the theme after being teased by it in track 1.  Not so surprisingly, Rabin crafts another exhilarating ascending theme here.  While the title theme, nor the rest of the score, doesn't quite manage being quite as uplifting as some of his other works of 2006, whenever the theme does make an appearance in the film, it forms a high point.  Both the theme, and score, reaches its zenith in "Celebration Epilogue" (12).

Trevor Rabin's ability to write thrilling action pieces has been well demonstrated through the years, but there are only a handful of tracks that allow him to flex those muscles this time around.   "A Baddington Game" (5) and "Mustang Challenge" (18), may be the only full action pieces of the entire CD while others like "We're are Better Than This Part 2" and  "We're Better Than This Part 3" contain segments of action but also have their share of subdued moments. 

The biggest surprise of this score is how much of it contains music of understatement and even quiet beauty.  Reflecting the fact that THE GRIDIRON GANG is far from another remake of THE LONGEST YARD, but rather a story about a real man's desire to make a true difference in the lives of real, young men, the film and score deliver good dose of sentiment.  From "Training Day" (6) to "Junior" (11), we have a suite of soft and heartfelt score that will likely cause the listener to forget that fact that this is THE GRIDIRON GANG they are listening to.

Overall, this might be one of the least "football-scorish-scores" for a football film ever - at least in terms of expectation.  THE GRIDIRON GANG is another decent effort from Rabin, although it does not reach the heights of REMEMBER THE TITANS or poignancy of THE GREAT RAID, it offers more of the softer-side of Trevor Rabin - making it ironically special.  This score might be a little "off the grid" for some, but if you are among Rabin's fans, "the gang"  is certainly worthy of being added to your collection. 

Rating: 6/10


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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Camp Kilpatrick 5:31  ***
2 We're Better than This 1:29  ***
3 Sorry. Football is over. 3:42  ***
4 Roger's Dead 1:39  **
5 A Baddington Game 2:08  ****
6 Training Day 3:09  ***
7 Rap Up 3:27  ***
8 Flowers 2:44  ****
9 Letter Writing Montage 1:21  ***
10 Good Job 0:46  ***
11 Junior 1:39  ***
12 Celebration Epilogue 3:51  ****
13 We're Better Than This Part 2 5:30  ***
14 Calvin Gets Shot 3:25  ***
15 We're Better Than This Part 3 6:17  ***
16 Forgiveness 3:15  ***
17 Junior Returns 2:27  ***
18 Mustang Challenge 3:25  ***

Total Running Time

55 minutes  




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