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    Tuesday, April 7, 2020

    #ThemeSongTuesday: #AndNEEEEEEEW

    It finally happened.

    Eleven years after he first showed up on WWE television, Drew McIntyre fulfilled his potential, slew the Beast, and became WWE Champion.

    We're now all too familiar with his journey, both in the ring and out of it. So I won't go through that again here. Instead, let's talk about his music as we celebrate the first Scottish WWE Champion.

    The new champ enters the ring to the Defining Moment Remix of "Gallantry," a CFO$ composition, so yes, it's a loop. Now that that's out of the way, the song itself starts off with synth bagpipes that lead to a heavy bass drum beat and a gritty guitar riff that make it feel like a fucking battle anthem. The bass drum goes so hard that it's supposed to make your heart thump and put you on edge. Combine that with the synth bagpipes and the guitars and you'll just want to gnarl your teeth and lash out at the next motherfucker who even looks at you.

    It's not a bad song. In fact, it goes quite well with McIntyre's character of being a conquering warrior hero. What makes this a flexible entrance theme is how it works for Drew as both a babyface and as a heel. There are some entrance themes that only work for one particular alignment, but "Gallantry" doesn't have that problem, which served Drew well regardless of which side he was on.

    We first heard the original version of "Gallantry" when McIntyre made his triumphant return as a babyface on NXT. Where it deviates from the remix is the absence of a heavy bass drum. You've still got the same synth bagpipes, but when the beat drops, you have an electric guitar and drum combo for a generic hook, which then swerves into a quick guitar solo, before going back to the main loop.

    It doesn't go as hard as the remix, that's for sure. I'll admit that I haven't heard this song in quite a while. But listening to it gives me ordinary Create-A-Wrestler feels. Sure, the bagpipes make you imagine a Scottish Superstar using the term. Other than that, though, it doesn't really set the song—or the wrestler who uses it—apart. No wonder it had to be remixed.

    Alright, let's get to the main event.

    My favorite Drew McIntyre theme is the one he was most known for using, at least until WWE let him go in 2014.

    What you're listening to above is the studio version of "Broken Dreams" by Shaman's Harvest, a post-grunge band from Jefferson City, Missouri. They've been around since the mid-'90s, but to us wrestling fans, we know them most for this song, and probably "End of Days," which The Corre used during that underwhelming run in 2011. Remember when Wade Barrett was a big deal? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

    The song starts off ominously with a guitar solo, with the cymbals then leading the drums in until Nathan Hunt sings the hook as if lulling you into a false sense of security. I'm a fan of how he sings the verses because it's such a stark contrast from the aggression that the hook delivers, especially when the entire band comes together. Add that extended little instrumental interlude right after every hook and you've got a track you can listen to when you feel like adding some intensity into whatever you're doing, like a workout.

    Speaking of workouts, I love it every time "Broken Dreams" comes on my workout playlist because the time in between verses is just enough for me to rest so that I can pick back up and go hard again as soon as the hook comes in. That guitar solo's a perfect motivator, too. I just wish it lasted longer because it's so quick that it ends just as you're ready to headbang and mosh.

    Not a lot of people know this, but there's actually a remix of "Broken Dreams," too. It's... a soft boi remix and not a very good one at all.

    It was released as a bonus track on WWE: Full Metal — The Album, Vol. 1 in 2012 and is a far cry from the original version. It's still got some of its ominous nature, with a keyboard replacing the guitars. Instead of starting with the hook, the vocalist immediately jumps into the first verse, which you'll realize is a bit more uptempo compared to the original version.

    You'll really hear the differences in the arrangement of the pre-chorus and chorus, which frankly sound a lot like the song was sung by a whiny white punk rocker, instead of the gritty, post-grunge feel of the original. A lot of what gave the original "Broken Dreams" the right kind of edginess—particular, the lead guitar—is gone in this 2012 version, which explains why it feels so lacking and flat. Not even a bonus verse in the bridge can make up for it. If it ever comes up in your Spotify playlist's song radio because you started with a wrestling song, skip it. It's just not worth a listen.

    And that is my loving tribute to the music in Drew McIntyre's WWE career, a fitting one now that he's at the top of the mountain as the WWE Champion. Which of his WWE themes as a solo performer is your favorite? Mine's obvious, and apparently, Drew's seems to be, too.
    But what about you? Drop yours in the comments section below!

    Header image from WWE


    Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.
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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: #AndNEEEEEEEW Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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