Crappy Dracula is like the Mr. Show of punk rock: random, invigorating, and so clever that even morons will laugh. On the band’s newest album, Fantastic Dracula, the spirit of The Dead Milkmen lives on, though the attitude of the Dead Kennedys is also conjured up. Aside from a couple of belligerent detours into disjointed two-steps or acoustic strums, this album flat out rocks.
“A Talent For Luck” and “Schrodinger’s Puss” are a couple of clanging, visceral rockers that would be almost as awesome without any words at all, and the dominant, nascent, Cure-meets-Devo riff from “Success (a.k.a. Dornor, Conquerer Of The Widely Known)” is easily one of the hottest of the year. “Blimp Heist” is the most riotously funny tune on the disc (alas, if only it were based on a true story), but the yuks abound at every turn. Crappy Dracula is probably sick of being called “scrappy,” because even though the adjective definitely applies, it could never encapsulate the multiple levels of humor in “Whiter Shade Of Cake,” or the relentless drive of “I Think You’d Better Sit Down For This One.” This is a band of pranksters to be sure, but there’s real songcraft on display as well.
You keep thinking at some point the songs are going to be, well, crappy, so you could consider dismissing the band as a novelty. But you just can’t do it. Come for the jokes, but once the Draculas have their fangs in you, you’ll stay because you just want to hear the songs again.
The band celebrates the release of Fantastic Dracula Sunday, May 29 at Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall.