Dr. Acula – Below Me!


Band: Dr. Acula
Album: Below Me!
Genre: Grindcore/Partycore
Label: Uprising

1. Beer Pong Massacre
2. Why I’m Afraid Of Bees
3. Night Of The Living Dummy
4. Go Eat Worms
5. You Can’t Scare Me
6. Say Cheese and Die
7. Shocker on Shock Street
8. Piano Lessons Can Be Murder
9. Say Cheese and Die Again
10. Monster Blood
11. The Cuckoo Clock of Doom
12. How I Got My Shrunken Head
13. Party
14. Beast From The East
15. Calling All Creeps

I’ve mentioned my passion for “bro-core” on the site before and this is example A. Dr. Acula, a ludicrous band whose record deal is just a crazy to conceive, released Below Me, their label debut, earlier this year. Just to clear it up, the band’s name comes from the Mitch Hedberg joke, not the Scrubs line, but that’s besides the point. You know how some albums have “party mix” written all over them? Well, if you’re party is made up of booze, violence, movie references, Goosebumps books, and girls, then this might just be the album for you.

Any fans of Dr. Acula prior to their deal we’ll realize the majority of these 15 tracks have appeared on the band’s two previous releases on 187 Records. Don’t let that turn you off though because every song has been redone and rerecorded to sound amazing and hit as hard as you always wish the rough recording could. “Piano Lessons Can Be Murder,” “Party,” “Say Cheese and Die,” and many of the other “classics” have all new life to them and suck you into the ridiculousness that is this band. Some movie quotes and various noises have been removed, but I don’t think they’ll be missed too much as new effects and levels have been added to fill the voids with a more organic [and easier to reproduce] sound. Another interesting aspect with these new tracks is the absence of the band’s previous 2nd vocalist. Instead of high pitched screeches and growls, we’re given one or the other and it helps to make a bit more sense of what’s being said, but doesn’t kill the overall mood.

As for those of you who think paying money for something you already have, even if just in a  different form is pointless, let me tell you that the new songs may be enough t convince you otherwise. Well, that’s not true because only one of them really connected with me whatsoever. “You Can’t Scare Me,” shows the band evolving, but staying true to the comedy based roots they’ve always had. The song hits like no other, but at the same time asks for people to send nude photographs to the band. This is what I’ve always hoped the band would mature into, but unfortunately it’s not showcased enough on this disc. 

In reality, Below Me is a middle ground kind of album. If you’ve never heard Dr. Acula or checked out their prior releases, then this is a must buy for fans of the genre. However, with that said, if you’ve been a longtime listener you may find yourself disappointed with the variety on the disc. Don’t get me wrong, for this genre, no one does it like Dr Acula, but even they haven’t done it enough recently to keep it fresh. Some tunes that have traveled every release are just getting to instant skip on repeat listens and that’s never a good sign. In addition, the new material is a bit mixed and I think the band will really need another release before we can decide if they have true staying power.

*Written By: James Shotwell*
Grade: 6.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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