Thus far, the adumbrate criterion offerings of Knoxville, Tennesse’s erudite CoolRunnings, have promised a polygenesis exsplosion of psychedelic mindrocking, and challenging angular indie. Thankfully their fluctuating musical style debut, Dracula Is Only The Beginning, delivers the goods.
Emulating genres whilst still maintaining their own sound’ they absorb a kaleidoscope of influences effortlessly – truly an example of the ‘post-postmodernist’ globalized sound favored by much of the current indie fraternity. Take the introductory Chorus for example; its inspired use of Ethiopian jazz star Alemayehu Eshete‘s shuffling hit ‘Ayalqem Tendengo’ as the foundation for a slacker Depeche Mode style electro Tropicana jog, encapsulates the groups magpie method perfectly. They leap from that excursion to the quivering faux-Gene Vincent, and Stray Cats, flick-knife rock’n’roll taunt of Behold The Cunt, the sulk into the moodier territory of Joy Division on Thunderbird.
Occasionally, and I must emphasis the occasionally bit, CoolRunnings tackle some less warranted musical diversions: the abbreviated C.K.S.F.A.R traipses through the proto-glam stomp of Louis XIV, whilst Megalomania enacts some dry-ice miasma-cloaked soundtrack – the sort Vangelis turned-out during the 80s.
Aside from a few minor qualms – the lyrics tend to be a touch too ambiguous and laconic; used in some respects for their cadence and rhythm rather then profoundity – the 10-track masterstroke wanders, and gallops majestically through shoegaze, cosmic-psych, OMD soulful synth maladies, and even baggy; all led by a vocal performance that sways between Arthur Lee sneered cool, and a fractured Billy Mackenzie falsetto.
In a year that’s already turning out its fair share of quality albums, Dracula Is Only The Beginning is the best yet.