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Action Hero Supercar

Single Review

Action Hero Supercar by Vulkari 64

Author: Cocaine for Toothaches

Here in my car, I feel safest of all

It’s appropriate that I first listened to this track in my car. To be honest I didn’t actually know the name of the track at the time, else that would have been too obvious and on-the-nose. I just took a tip that maybe I should review the song because it’s excellent (to quote “it SLAPS” which, I didn’t know we were using physical assault to describe music nowadays, but what do I know*), so I pulled it up and threw it on on the way home from work

Fire up the willing engine, responding with a roar

“Action Hero Supercar” by Vulkari64 is full-on outrun, an instrumental designed to put you in the driver’s seat of a performance machine, that I guess will slap you if you veer out of your lane. I’m still not sure how that all works yet. The tempo really moves (by rudimentary tap-out >155bpm) so it’s an adrenaline seeker. The intro starts a car zooming by, followed by recognizable filtered synths. When the quarter-note kick drum comes in marking time to the tempo, we’re out on the straightaway through the Nevada desert. We’re really feeling what kind of ride we’re in for—heart racing, driving gloves dripping with sweat, foot velcroed to the accelerator. We alternate synth and guitar-lead sections, each highlighting effervescent melodies which drive everything along nicely. The lead parts feature many phrases of sixteenth-note groupings which, at this tempo, really add an extra layer of excitement to the already
gripping pace. It was fun to run my family-oriented vehicle a little bit hot on the way home from work, and the dark, wet, narrow rural highway curves spiced things up quite a bit.

Got the feel for the wheel, keep the moving parts clean

Two minutes in the layers start to ease the seat back and downshift to set-up a restart, really nicely adjusting and manipulating the overall dynamic flowchart of the track. Now the synth bass is featured: retro, growling, perfect. At 2:30 there is the synth fanfare section which brings it all together—brass synth sound recapitulating the main theme unaccompanied as a triumphant royal proclamation, punctuated by the vocal clip “racing against the clock in more ways than one” and immediately finding its way back into the fully-orchestrated theme as a perfect tension release. I like that it didn’t overstay its welcome on the fanfare, even with as effective as it is. That section is just long enough to do its job and then back out, so the momentum isn’t lost. And just like a high-performance automobile making an incredible speed run, momentum is key. We’re back at top speed now, pushing the land-speed record while somehow simultaneously fist-pumping out the window. Don’t argue it, it’s science, we’re not meant to understand.

With my hand on your grease gun
Ooh, it’s like a disease, son

You know, it’s tracks like this one that really help to make synthwave great. There’s a pure, unadulterated euphoria to just listening to a track that makes you want to get in a jalopy/hooptie/soccer-mom wagon and just slam the accelerator down. Songs about cars are just the coolest! Vulkari64 absolutely nails it here: the excitement, adrenaline, and sounds of a great car track. The synth patches are all very retro-inspired and blended together/tag-teamed to perfection. That bass! Ooo, I love a grimey synth bass as I’ve said before. Hits me down in my machine-like soul. The mix is clean and precise, the arrangement just right. 

You need to hop in and take “Action Hero Supercar” for a test drive. But do be careful; unless you’re a highway star, it’s probably a lot more car than you can handle.

 

 

-Action Hero Supercar Released on January 1st 2023 through Retrosynth Records 

-You can find & Support Vulkari 64 HERE

-We interviewed Vulkari 64 in 2022! You can watch that HERE
 
 
About the author: Coke has been around music a long, long time. As a child in a family of musicians and in-and-around a family-owned studio in the 1980’s, he has seen the ups and downs of the music scene and lifestyle. He plays/has played several instruments including piano/keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, and even dabbled on low brass and drums for a bit, as well as being a bang-average vocalist. Coke studied (and won departmental awards in) composition, theory, and classical guitar performance during undergraduate work, as well as taught private guitar lessons for children and adults. He spent ten years (up until the pandemic) as a superstar guitarist/bassist/musical director in the CCM world, before crashing down to earth, humbly surrendering all that non-existent fame and fortune for the quiet life. He now endeavors on synthwave-adjacent music, working as a shipping boss, and living with his wife and (some of) his six grown children in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA.

*editor’s note–from Dictionary.comGenerally, slap means “to strike sharply with an open hand” or refers to such a hard blow so delivered. But what could this action have to do with groovy tunes? Well, consider this: we call an extremely successful song a smash hit. And a song that we personally love? It’s our jam. Smash hit, jam, slaps—these terms, and many more, use direct, smack-dab force, contact, and motion as metaphors for excellence.” BOOM. 

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