Hand Drawn Dracula
Release Date: September 11, 2015
Here is something this band has written about themselves: “Fresh Snow is not music. Music died so that Fresh Snow could live. As music ascended toward the light, Fresh Snow fell down to earth.”
Here is something else from the band: “A clear fountainhead of water gushing out of a crystal cave, glistening in sidereal light.”
If you just read those things and made a big fart noise and decided that this isn’t a band you want to listen to, you’re probably right.
The idea, though, may not be that this isn’t music at all, so much as that it isn’t only music. If you like the idea of recorded audio as an assembled thing with music as one of its parts, and if you’re drawn to the distilled punk idea of noise as a sort of challenging statement, and if that doesn’t all make you feel a little pretentious, there’s plenty here that’s worth your patience. A little post-rock, a lot of noise, some end-of-days distortion, a shaking booty or two at points - it’s overwhelming and grotesque by design. (I should add, though, that no style, grotesque or not, can be forgiven for a pitchy violin. But now I’m just nitpicking.)
“Proper Burial” manages to tie an unabashed bass groove and classic horror atmosphere to lyrics and a melody that serve the song well (“You’re either looking for love, or a proper burial.” Don’t actually know what that means, but it sounds pretty great.), and the wordless soprano backing ties it together pretty perfectly in the very last way you’d expect.
“Blood in the Sun” is absolutely the standout. It begins slowly with piano that could be from the aftermath of a wild west duel (the title is kind of perfect), and then, at the moment you know that it needs to get up and move, it absolutely gallops right over you. It shows range, but it’s still cohesive, dramatic, and crushing. It grates, it’s absolutely searing, but it draws you in. In the right hands, this could get the video treatment of the year.
Really, this one is up to you. You might not like it (which doesn’t mean you don’t get it), and it might light your world on fire. Don’t pass this by. Listen and find out.
Reviewed by: Kent 1340