You are about to hear the score of the most ridiculous, b-movie Dracula film no one has ever seen (and may not even really exist). THE HAMILTONES debut LP is an instrumental, surf-punk adventure that has as much in common with Ennio Morricone and The Cramps as it does with the Ventures. Nimble guitars, lurking bass, swirling organs, and eerie violin create a sound that can transform from uptempo and raucous to dark and baroque, harkening back to an era when ghouls lurked in every Eastern European forest.
Beyond being sonically rooted in surf-punk, it’s really a concept record. Functioning as the soundtrack to a fictional B-Horror movie of the same name “Dracula Invitational 1791“. This “film” also stars The Hamiltones (feat. SCIENCE MAN) and unfolds the story of how they were invited to be the house band at the most infamous Dracula party in the world, become the earliest pioneers of surf music, and then reborn as creatures of the night. The entire plot is spelled out in a letter which is included with every record – wax sealed, of course.
The LP opens up into a huge “Where’s Waldo” style centerfold (drawn by Mickey Harmon) depicting scenes from the debaucherous party described in the letter. All adding up to be equally effective as background party music or a much more immersive listening experience should you choose to read along and inspect the artwork.
Comments John Toohill (The Hamiltones, Science Man, Swimming Faith Records): “I’m not exactly sure where we belong in the world of “surf” music. Obviously it’s the closest genre. I just think there is a certain kinda esthetic usually attached to a lot of it that’s more of a rockabilly with Hawaiian shirts, muscle cars, and Frankenstein tattoos kinda thing. And that just ain’t us. I mean, we obviously like a lot of that same shit too, but we like… can’t actually afford it or something? haha. I know Nick is big on tons of obscure Japanese Psych surf and I think I’m more interested in the way John Reis’ guitar playing is often called surfy. I think that shows through in our sound. I hope it does.”
“We’re obviously into sci-fi and horror but I think that’s just more a fun jump off point for our creativity. A set of rules to play a game with. We kinda like the idea of continuing to make these full soundtracks of instrumental music for movies that don’t exist. Next might be The Hamiltones in outer space or a western or “Goes to hell” or “tries to fix the toaster”… I don’t know. We’re idiots.”
“Dracula Invitational 1791″music video:
“No, Let’s Eat the Musicians” music video:
Asked about the recording process, John adds: “We tracked everything ourselves in the basement of Deep Space Eight, Nick’s house, or up in The Hoyt Locker, my attic. It’s all free software and cheap mics. Stacking up books as stands and duct taping cables to the ceiling/random shit. We are just lucky enough to have John Angelo in our brood, who did a world class mix and master to it. Then I just pitched the whole thing to Bart at BIG NECK RECORDS, who had just put out the new SCIENCE MAN LP, to see if he wanted to co-release it with me/my label Swimming Faith.”