Lake Of Dracula | Skeletal Remains

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Rock: Punk Rock: No Wave Moods: Type: Experimental
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Skeletal Remains

by Lake Of Dracula

Chicago No Wave all stars from the mid-90s . . . crazed vocals, dissonant guitars and anti-rock beats.
Genre: Rock: Punk
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Foour Teachers
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3:32 album only
2. Plague of Frogs
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1:20 album only
3. Biographers of the Flaming Druglords
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2:03 album only
4. Cherries and Socks
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2:20 album only
5. Blues Fantastique
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1:27 album only
6. The Servo-Motor
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2:59 album only
7. Violators
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3:06 album only
8. Dracula Killed Frankenstein
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1:58 album only
9. Coconut Wine
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2:06 album only
10. The Carpet
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3:27 album only
11. Henry Clay
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2:27 album only
12. The Artic Cats
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2:23 album only
13. Memories of Me
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2:16 album only
14. Piss II
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2:10 album only
15. Lake Of Dracula
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1:03 album only
16. Plague of Frogs
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1:40 album only
17. untitled
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1:00 album only
18. Four Teachers
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3:12 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Between 1995 and 1997 lake Of dracula forged a singular approach to dissonant, minimalistic rock music pre-dating both the neo-"no wave" nostalgia trip (popularized by bands like yeah yeah yeahs and liars) and the current noise rock insurgence (led by lightning bolt and wolf eyes) by years. based in chicago, LOD was a veritable midwestern underground supergroup featuring James "Marlon" Magas (Couch, Magas), Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers, XBXRX), Heather M. (The Scissor Girls), "The Manhattanite" (a.k.a. Al Johnson from U.S. Maple) and Jessica Ruffins (Jaks, Sea of Tombs).

Formed in late 1995, the band issued forth a succinct manifesto made of propulsive anti-rock beats and terse guitar cacophony topped with cryptic, evocative vocal assaults. the net result of this music was one of powerful, hard-edged surrealism in contrast to the introspective "post rock" more associated with the time and place. Their sole self-titled studio album was issued by skin graft records in early 1997 featuring production help by jim o'rourke (sonic youth, etc.). after a final west coast tour in summer 1997, the band called it quits and the various members went on to further infamy with their various pursuits. since then, the name Lake Of Dracula continues to be whispered in reverence throughout the rock underground. "Skeletal Remains" collects previously unreleased material and rare compilation and single tracks onto one CD (remastered by weasel walter) with extensive liner notes and photos.


Discography

* "Plague Of Frogs" (live version) on Chicken Bomb compilation CD (Lumpen) 1996.

* Lake Of Dracula LP/CD (Skin Graft) 1997.

* live bootleg 7" of 9/24/96 show (Sin Raft) 1997.

* "Plague Of Frogs" on Camp Skin Graft compilation CD (Skin Graft) 1997.

* A segment on The Miracle of Re-Creation video compilation (Gentle Giant) 1997, with U.S. Maple, Lake Of Dracula, The Scissor Girls, 7000 Dying Rats, Otomo Yoshide, et al.

* "Live" on BulbJack II compilation 7" (Bulb/Blackjack) 1997, with Harry Pussy, The Whales, Monoshock, a.o.

* split single with Monitor Radio (carcrashh) 1998.

* "Four Teachers"/"Violators" 7" (Kill Rock Stars) 1998.

* Skeletal Remains CD (Savage Land) 2006.


Reviews


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Mathew

Demento rock and roll, baby
This CD just rocks me stupid. Totally sick and groovy. Get it and dig its nasty charms.

Marc Masters - Pitchfork Media

hectic vigor!
Lake of Dracula's career was an explosive blip, mirroring the fast-burning stints of the 70s No Wave bands its guitarist Weasel Walter fervently championed. The group burst forth in Chicago in 1995 and slammed to a halt less than two years later, leaving a single album and a handful of shows in their scorched wake. They were too late (and sounded a bit too bright and robust) for No Wave, but their noisy punk shook with the devouring spirit of that genre's pioneers (Mars, DNA, Teenage Jesus). In fact, Lake of Dracula's tightly wound songs were so vibrant that this posthumous release, a live set that essentially reproduces the self-titled studio debut, still sounds vital 10 years later.

It helps that Lake of Dracula had a stellar pedigree. Alongside Walter, founder and drummer of jazz-punk vets the Flying Luttenbachers, the group included former Couch singer Marlon Magas, drummer Heather M. from the Scissor Girls, and occasionally "the Manhattanite," a pseudonym for U.S. Maple's Al Johnson. The music on Skeletal Remains is accordingly authoritative, yet refreshingly unjaded. Each track shakes with the wiry energy of the band's well-hewn skills and driving inspirations.

Much of that hectic vigor comes from Walter and Magas, whose head-to-head sprints form the core of Skeletal Remains' vein-busting pulse. The pair race each other endlessly, jostling back and forth for sonic position. Walter's bassy chords enflame the group's pounding rhythms, often blurring into noise but always sharp as a knife. Sprayed on top is Magas's distended voice, which evokes Mark E. Smith's arrhythmic rants, Johnny Rotten's gobbed bleats, and the off-key drool of Darby Crash, who Magas smartly namechecks in the first song, "Four Teachers" (the only one not taken from the band's debut). When delivered in Magas's skewed cadence, Ed Wood-worthy couplets like "Plague of frogs/ hopping in the night" and "Dracula killed Frankenstein / and then he tried to blow my mind" become urgent, skin-crawling pleas.

There are so many highlights here-- the Erase Errata-foreshadowing "Plague of Frogs", Walter's two-note quack on "Violators", Magas's stretched groans on "Memories of Me"-- that Skeletal Remains is ultimately one long, searing beam of throbbing post-punk. The group was smart enough not to mess much with the well-paced sequencing of their album; halfway through the set, Walter calls out "Side 2!" and his mates recreate it dutifully. Yet Skeletal Remains is no rehash. Aside from the fact that three tracks from singles and comps are appended, the band's performance adds vivid colors to pieces first heard on the debut. Such improvement suggests an even more spectacular takeoff might have been in store; let's just be thankful that we got to witness stage one.

-Marc Masters, October 17, 2006