Rhythm & Views


Man, talk about your narrow demographics. In 1979, the suburban-teen rebellion film Over the Edge was completed but never released theatrically, reportedly due to its controversial themes (the usual sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, violence, bad parenting). But a couple of years later, the movie, which included Matt Dillon's first film role, began showing incessantly on cable TV, finding the audience it deserved and allowing teens and preteens from the 'burbs to feel that they weren't alone in their alienation and boredom

Still, cult classic or not, how many films have inspired entire albums? That's exactly what Portland, Ore.'s Drats!!! have done here: Welcome to New Granada is a rock operetta that chronologically follows the story arc of Over the Edge, portraying scenes from the movie both sonically and lyrically.

Thus, the scene where Claude accidentally drops acid before art class is depicted in "Claude's Trip" as a warped, Zappa-eque mindbender ("Staring at the painting on the overhead screen / That shit I bought was acid but I thought it was speed"). The optimism of the parents courting potential investors in New Granada is reflected in the upbeat, twisted funk-rock of "Resale Property Values." And "Johnny the Mute," which describes the scene in which the titular character is asked over the phone whether a character is dead, features wood-block percussion to accent the instructions: "one click for yes, two clicks for no." Whether this oddball curio stands on its own merits is a question I can't answer, but for those of us for whom Over the Edge was a formative experience, it's good fun, indeed.