Kim Dracula – A Gradual Decline in Morale [Album Review]

Review: Jack Price

Have you ever fallen asleep with a playlist on and awoken in a haze of confusion and disorientation? Imagine that feeling took physical form and blew the absolute fuck up on social media, worked its ass off for two years to create multiple singles and videos whilst masterfully combining a plethora of genres and like a musical Dr Frankenstein, created a 20 track debut album that is completely unlike anything you’ve ever heard.

Yeah, that’s what it’s like listening to Kim Dracula’s A Gradual Decline In Morale. It’s like someone squeezed lemon juice on your brain while you discover a stack of cash. It’s confusing, it’s enjoyable, it’s ridiculous.

The enigma that is Kim Dracula is only made more mysterious with the album opening to a chorus of organ pipes and blood curdling screams with the mostly instrumental title track/intro, A Gradual Decline In Morale. It closes in manic laughter that carries to the next track, Confession, that hits with a funky slap bass intro paired with pick slides before some pumped up, aggressive rapping from Dracula. Then… we’re clubbing? The EDM beats and clean vocals change the tempo before the chorus switches it up again, hitting with a more hardcore sound, showing how versatile their vocal work and musical talents are.

After a little pep-talk to themselves, Kim shows the ridiculous hair-trigger, raspy rapping they are know for, spitting a verse with ease, sparing no bars. This track shows there’s no genre safe from this perfect disasterpiece of an album.

Kim Dracula may have amassed their following during the outbreak of Covid-19, but the process of piecing together and polishing their art into a fever dream of satire and dramatic chaos is a decade in the making. Not only is it entertaining, the superfluity of style influences are rampant as the album continues.

Similarities to artists like Red Hot Chili PeppersThe UsedMy Chemical RomanceElvis (yes, Elvis Presley is in there and it’s amazing), and more are done in such a tongue and cheek manner that it’s impossible not to grin like a mad man. And of course, there’s the Korn influences, most noticeable in Dracula‘s wailing, whiny vocal style that differs from their clean vocals, and scatting ala Twist. Oh, and Jonathan Davis joins the fray, singing on the chorus of the single Seventy Thorns surrounded by gloomy chords of distorted guitars.

Now, while listening to this album and noting the combination of different musical styles including industrial, jazz, funk, flamenco and of course metal, it’s stupidly important to remember this is all one person. I mean, guitars, drums, synth, bass, fucking saxophone! Kim Dracula has created their eclectic mix solo. It’s one person!

This has made for a remarkably personal experience that also shows the humorous side of the character, with an advertisement style break to announce the mid way point of the album, boasting “this may end up being one of your favourite albums of all time” backed by jazzy electro hold music.

While Dracula may have exploded on the social media platform Tik Tok, they still stay humble to their roots, stating “Tasmanian Devil, got the voice of the devil” in the track Undercover which mixes a Latin styled guitar and percussion intro with punk, industrial metal and hardcore into one catchy as fuck song.

After their cult hit Make Me Famous, a pleasantly haunting piano cover of Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls, is an emotion filled closing act for this sideshow theatric adventure. The tension builds to close the track with distorted screams growing before silence.

An almost comedic track, The End, For Now, closes the album abruptly, leaving the narrative of the album open ended for the next instalment from Kim Dracula. With the wheels now turning for this Apple Isle monstrosity, the bar is set high for their future offerings.

Kim Dracula’s new album A Gradual Decline in Morale, will be released this week on FridayJuly 14th via Sony Music