Rocket from the Crypt - Scream, Dracula, Scream! (Cover Artwork)

Rocket from the Crypt

Scream, Dracula, Scream! (1995)


I'll admit it: I got into Rocket from the Crypt a little late. A little very late, that is. I don't even know why, but I always clumped them together with those "signed punk bands" from the `90s explosion that never really had anything good to offer. And yes, when I was really young, I thought they were a ska band. But one day I found something marvellous in my roommate's CD collection: Group Sounds. The furious pace of songs like "White Belt" and "Heart of the Rat" really got me out of my musical slump, and made the 20-minute uphill walks to work a lot more enjoyable, especially on chilly Calgary mornings.

So, recently browsing through some of my new roommate's CDs, I found Scream, Dracula, Scream!. I made it my priority to listen to this as soon as possible, going all the way home, grabbing my stereo and coming back to my new apartment.

As soon as the it started I was immediately confused. In hindsight, "Middle" is one of the best opening tracks I've ever heard, but I definitely had to go back and take a second listen. I wasn't sure if i loved it like a newborn child, or hated it like a goofball rapist. The sound of Speedo pushing his voice so hard it's about to break makes you instantly want to do the same back. By the second listen you'll know every word. From there, the album continues with "Born in `69," another fast song, showing off everyone's skills in the band.

RFTC then presents their one "radio" hit from the mid-nineties, and deservedly so; "On a Rope" is one of the catchiest fucking songs I've ever heard in my life. The album rolls on with great songs from there, with lots of sing-alongs, especially during the hardest track on the album, "Drop Out." "Used" stands out as an odd track on the album. Its basically a doo-wop ballad, with freakishly technical guitar lines weaving over each other, and truly amazing harmonies. The album picks up again, with the thumping bass-line of "Come See, Come Saw" and another great track, "Salt Future." Unfortunately, the only downside is that the album runs a little long, only about one or two songs, but enough for the casual listener to notice.

One of the real standouts of this album is Atom Willard's drumming. He really proves himself to be one of the best drummers in punk rock, all without any unnecessary solos or showing off that usually comes with that caliber of talent -- just an incredibly tight performance that manages to hold a band made up of two guitarists (who usually counter each other's parts), a horn section, bass and complex vocal lines, and that is no easy feat. I think losing him really hurt the band.

In summary, this is a fantastic album, full of many great, fun songs. Even though it's a little long for my tastes, it should stand as a nice introduction for people who thought they were a ska band when they were 13 as well. Again, sorry Rocket.