Any fan of the Friday the 13th franchise is familiar with Harry Manfredini's incredible scores for the majority of these films, so while Waxwork Records impressed us last year in quality and variety with the pressing of Part 1 of the series, they've followed it up with Part 2. The score picks up where the first left off and a lot of the same themes are present, as is expected since Manfredini scored both films.
It is equal parts menace and terror. The tracks cut sharply back and forth between quiet, sinister strings and bouncing lows with violent, shrieking highs, and one can feel the fear and tension building on the screen as each track plays out, until the violins slice sharply with startling fury. Of course the "kill kill kill" (or "ch ch ch" depending on how your ears pick it up) is used frequently throughout to alert us when the killer is near! Listening to the score by itself outside of the film, I picture myself laying on the floor with the lights out, listening at high volume. Don't worry about falling asleep, though. The fright you feel lurking around each build-up will keep you alert at all times. Recommendation: Have your favorite stuffy close by to keep the fear away.
Dealing with this pressing in particular, it... well, it just sounds fantastic. There is little to no background noise or interference detected. The high notes are incredibly crisp and sharp, the low notes are haunting and foreboding. The transitions between tracks are clean. J Yuenger did a really nice job with the mastering of this release.
As for the packaging, Waxwork Records knocks it out of the park every time, and this release is no exception. The tip-on gatefold cover is strong and sturdy. I own the "Ms. Voorhees Sweater w/ Camp Counselor Clood Blood Splatter" variant, but it also comes in a second variant, described as "Jason Burlap Sack Mask w/ Blue Splatter". The label on side B is killer, with the record spindle poking through an image of a bloody mattress (genius move).
The stunning artwork for this release is by Rich Kelly, who also did the artwork for Waxwork's Nightbreed and Mondo's The Boxtrolls. Included in the front pocket is a 12" x 12" insert of the cover art, which has a giant Jason stepping out of the lake among the unsuspecting campers, pitchfork in hand, while Ms. Voorhees' ghostly apparition looms in the nighttime sky. The gatefold depicts Jason about to walk in on a naughty scene - very nice touch - while the back cover is the shrine of Ms. Voorhees.
My only complaints are minor. First, there are no liner notes as there were in the release for Part 1. That is just being nit-picky, though, because we have been spoiled with that luxury recently, but it's always nice to read about the memories/details/behind-the-scenes stuff from composers, cast, crew, etc. while listening to the record for the first time. Second, I imagine some people will have liked the insert to be on heavier cardstock. This isn't really a big deal for me because I have enough things to frame in my house already, but I thought I would mention it here.
All in all, what a stunner. I will be listening to this one frequently. When my 6 year old daughter saw Ms. Voorhees' mummified head depicted on the back cover for the second time, she shrieked "Everywhere i go, I see that creepy face! Why would you buy that?". With that ringing endorsement, why wouldn't I buy it?
Friday the 13th, Part 2 is currently available in both variants from Waxwork Records