John Carpenter – Lost Themes II

When John Carpenter released his first ever solo album, appropriately on Halloween 2014, he was amazed at the critical and public acclaim he received.

This is as it should be because John Carpenter’s music is an integral part of his films: it is unique, providing the ‘sonic pulse’ to his imagination. When I hear the “Main Theme” of Escape From New York, in my mind’s eye I can always see Snake Plissken, up against impossible odds, alone, and yet still strong enough to withstand. When I hear the haunting piano theme from The Fog, my mind conjures up images of Lovecraftian undead lepers rising from the sea to find vengeance. When I hear the driving main theme from In The Mouth of Madness (surely one of Carpenter’s most underrated films), I am reminded of just how much his music has in common with heavy metal.

Above all, as Kurt Russell has rightly said about Jon Carpenter (and as a friend and collaborator, he should know, let’s hope one day they make a film together again), he is unique; you know straight away it’s him. How many musicians or filmmakers can you say that for today?

Lost Themes was such a treat, the soundtrack in your imagination to the best John Carpenter film you have never seen.

With John Carpenter now a touring musician (yay!), Lost Themes II is more up-tempo and organic. He has once again collaborated with his fellow musicians, his son Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davie, his godson, making this very much a family affair. It shows: the musicians very much displaying a kind of virtuoso telepathy in their playing, a three-headed hydra of Carpenters!

I truly would love to see John Carpenter live supporting this fine album and I truly hope there will be further Lost Themes albums, and here’s a grand idea, what about a live album from the tour? Everybody ask Mr. Carpenter and maybe he will be kind enough to oblige.

(Sacred Bones)

Steve Earles is author and co-author of numerous projects, including To End All Wars: The WWI Graphic Anthology, available summer 2014 (