Oneohtrix Point Never’s original heavy synth score and the dense, chaotic soundscape created by the Safdie brothers are both part of what make Uncut Gems such a tense examination of one man’s ability to perpetually fuck up. But what if Howard Ratner’s self-destructive tendencies were accompanied by a slightly different sound? Let’s say, a groovy indie pop ballad. Well, it would probably sound something like this new song from musician Nick Lutsko, which combines dialogue from the film and a bass-driven backing track to create a completely incongruous new theme song for the film. And, reader, it is good.
We’ve previously written about Lutsko’s work, both independently and at the now defunct Super Deluxe, where he was responsible for turning vile and incomprehensible quotes from people like Alex Jones and Donald Trump into pretty catchy tunes. But “This is How I Win (The Ballad of Howard Ratner)” might be his best work yet. It’s got a catchy hook, a toe-tapping rhythm, and, of course, unforgettable lines like, “Straight from the Ethiopian Jewish tribe. Middle Earth shit.”
As unsettling and out-of-place as it might have been, we would have loved to hear this song play over the film’s end credits. If anything, it just would have been nice to see Howard close out the movie on a high note.
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