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Music Monday: Wolfenstein: The New Order

I got the platinum on Wolfenstein: The New Order!

I know, it’s not the hardest to earn in the history of PlayStation Trophies but it’s my only plat apart from season one of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, which was an unavoidable award for anyone who played the game to conclusion.

Though I thought it was pretty silly and tonally all over the shop, I had a lot of fun with MachineGames’ debut, and kept coming back to it until I’d done everything. It offered exciting scenarios and missions that reminded me of GoldenEye 007 with their intelligent pacing, smart design and well-judged balance of objective-driven progress alongside both quiet-sneaky and all-out, balls-to-the-wall dual-wielding, Nazi-smoking gunplay.

When I first heard the title of the latest Wolfie game I was – being of a literal mind and an 80s electronica/indie bent – hoping for a soundtrack from Bernard, Peter, Stephen and Gillian, Salford’s legendary disco pioneers.

Instead the background music to the game is a somewhat grungier overture from composer Mick Gordon (Killer Instinct (2013), Shootmania Storm, Need for Speed: Shift). However, that’s not the music I’m here to share with you.

With similar intent to BioShock Infinite, if you listen out throughout the game you’ll hear some amusingly anachronistic mutations of familiar hits dotted throughout the game.

That’s right, in this alternative 1960s, music apparently evolved in much the same way from blues through rock ‘n’ roll to rock and pop, despite the entirely different influences,and societal conditions that supposedly existed.

Just try not to think too hard about this nonsensical concept, and just enjoy the songs, which appear – the ‘earlier ones’ in authentic mono – on the fictional Neumond (New Moon) Records label.

The complete Neumond ‘compilation album’ Neumond Classics features a total of eleven German language tracks, three of which are cover versions, while the others are blatantly inspired by real world artists.

Although details relating to the session performers seem to be scarce, according to this venturebeat article,

The majority of the songs were recorded in the U.S. One of the bands had a bunch of developers from Harmonix Music Systems, the maker of games like Rock Band.

Some of the tracks, such as Die Partei Damen – a cover of Martha and the Vandella’s Motown classic Nowhere to Run, do not appear in the game as it was – quite understandably – stipulated that they could not appear in conjunction with Nazi imagery, and so only exist as promotional items to bring humour and life to the dark and fantastical scenario of Wolfenstein: The New Order.

The Kinks, The Beach Boys, The Monkees and, of course, The Beatles (as Die Käfer – The Beetles of course) all get their own, pretty accurate parody pieces, meanwhile ‘Ralph Becker’ does John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom (albeit with added exclamation marks and ripe Limburger).

Other (not) featured artists include Eddie Cochran, with a version of Summertime Blues by ‘Hans’ which at times sounds closer to Guitar Wolf’s unhinged version than the original.

Finally for us, no such album is complete without a slow, smoochy one to end the evening pressed to your dance partner with, and here Karl & Karla provide the schmaltzy (though I’m assuming these card-carrying National Socialists wouldn’t approve of that Yiddish-derived adjective) Tapferer Kleiner Liebling (Brave Little Darling), an affectionate tribute to Paul and Paula’s Young Lovers.

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