When a game gets as many things right as Trials Evolution, it's all the more noticeable when it gets something wrong. And man, this game's soundtrack is all wrong.
It hits you in the face before the main menu has even loaded. This conflagration of spitty, grunted vocals, dry audio production and slightly distorted yet also overly-clear lyrics. Listen to the opening track, which is a little ways down.
It just… sucks. It's the video game soundtrack equivalent of the red-faced guy sitting behind you at a baseball game screaming "Fucking Giants!" over and over. It sounds like a human scalp boiled in gravel-water. It sounds like a hot cinderblock sitting in an Arizona mall parking lot.
Very few types of music are just inherently entirely unappealing to me. More often than not, I can find some redeemable quality in whatever I'm listening to.
Disturbed Kid Rock-style rap-metal is almost irredeemable—at least, I count it as one of my least favorite genres of music. So yes, the Trials Evolution soundtrack was coming in with the deck stacked against it.
All the same, there are bands in that genre that I don't mind or even kinda like—if Faith No More qualifies, I dig them. I even like some stuff by Linkin Park. (What? They have some cool videos.)
But man, the music in Trials Evolution's soundtrack is just plain bad. In fact, saying it's "plain" doesn't do it justice. It is exuberantly bad, to the point that it's almost charming… but no. It's not charming at all.
Let's listen to another one:
Just… it's like ear-demolishment. It's like listening to a blender after what was blending is done blending. This song grates like a Frieling stainless steel electric.
These are actual lyrics from this song:
I'm ready to go!
Time to let the muh muh muh muh monday night-ro!
Bloody hell. Is this an edited version? Was it originally the motherfucking monday night-ro? Actually wait, it doesn't matter.
This is where we start to get to this article's headline—this music is truly so wretched that it's almost like they're kidding. But even if they are… like… you know when they have a "fun" pie-fight at an outdoor party, and someone nails you with one and it gets all over your shirt, which you then have to wear for the rest of the day? It's like that kind of joke. It's not funny because it's happening to you.
Here we've got another one that supports the idea that this whole soundtrack is a joke, what with the rap-skit style "And now it's time for a breakdown" announcer voice at the beginning. But again I ask… how funny a joke is it? Not really very funny. Especially considering that you'll have to listen to this a whole, whole bunch of times.
Somewhere along the way, the direction for this thing really went off the rails. Some basic, thick-ass rock would have sufficed. We didn't need lyrics. We didn't need attempts at so-bad-it's-good-no-wait-it's-still-bad rap humor. We didn't need personality. Trials Evolution has so much going on on the gameplay side that its soundtrack doesn't even need to be that incredible (though it would've been nice!) It really just needed to get out of the way.
And yet personality is just what we got. Grating, shouted, amelodic, wretched personality. I will forever mute it and listen to Highway to Hell instead.