Drakulas' debut for Dirtnap is also their first full length, following up on a 7" from a couple of years ago that I don't have. This is my first exposure to the band and in general, I'm pretty impressed. Boasting a 'members of' resume that includes bands like Riverboat Gamblers and Rise Against, I wasn't sure what this was going to sound like. That being said, they did have the Dirtnap seal of quality slapped on, so that usually pushes me towards a purchase more often than not.
What I ended up is an album that I think is pretty good, but is missing that little something that pushes it into rarified territory. I think it's probably the vocals, which tend to live on the snotty, nasal, punk rock side of the spectrum. I tend to favor vocals that are little more melodic and less acerbic. With that said, Drakulas still crank out a hell of an album, full of fast paced, Marked Men style downstrokes and some pretty energetic hooks.
When the band really hits their stride on songs like "Sunny Tzu" or "VHS" I'm all in. The combination of the buzzsaw guitar chords and the snappy choruses are right up my alley. Less successful for me are when the band goes off the beaten path on something like "My Name In Your Mouth" or when they're simply going too fast even for me as they do on "Headphones/Slit Throats." But these are minor detours on an album that is a fun listen for the vast majority of the time. It may not be in album of the year territory, but it's definitely worth a listen. Especially if you like your rock and roll fast, loud and fuzzy.
Drakulas - S/T: