2. Ogdru Juhad
3. 1.21 Gigiwatts
4. Serenade the Samurai
6. Snow Driven Engine
9. Adrians Song
10. Crown of Lice
11. Estaban was Eaten
The story of St. Louis favorites Vampire Mooose is one of harlequin narration. With such a tumultuous history, it’s one that diametrically and vehemently opposes conventional wisdom, and takes a life of its own. The band has escaped the devils death and survived to tell their tales on a new record, much to the disbelief of anyone unlucky enough to be within earshot.
Since their initial, critically acclaimed self-titled release three years ago, the challenges that Vampire Mooose have endured are those that would have made a band of mediocre men crumble long ago. Fortunately their first album set more than just a simple ‘ball-rolling’ but more appropriately set a burgeoning snow ball effect from a mountain top, gaining mass, speed and girth only to pummel those below.
In true Vampire Mooose fashion, they have soldiered through tours in snow storms, hurricanes and heat waves in vans that drove until the wheels literally fell off and walked to a local dealership and bought another one to finish out a tour, several line-up changes and a manager who is now doing time in federal penitentiary for robbing a bank with a mock explosive device. Singer Ryan Pulliam said, “I always heard that managers were thieves, but this one takes the cake…”
With all of this in tow, Vampire Mooose brings an 11 song cornucopia of face shattering tunes titled “Serenade the Samurai”. The band brought in long time friend Brandon Manlove on guitar and sees the return of original bassist Al Carson, backed by the percussive attack of drummer Eric Baudendistel. As Pulliam put it, “we’ve matured a lot. That doesn’t mean we’ve lightened up, it just means that the heaviness of the band has been legitimized to a place where getting up on stage every night is about telling the story of Mooose. Where some bands have to make that shit up, this is our E true Hollywood story…nothing fake, nothing made up, it’s just the way it is for us…” But then again, this comes from a guy who was once arrested for inciting a riot from the stage in their hometown of St. Louis.
Recorded at Wrightway Studios in Baltimore Maryland, with Steve Wright behind the helm, Serenade the Samurai, as Pulliam eloquently puts it, shows how the band has grown wiser and more mature. Traditionally when one hears about how a band has “matured”, it almost seems to discount their prior work. That’s not so with Vampire Mooose, where their first record is a cult favorite like fellow St. Louis born William S. Burroughs’ Junkie, Serenade the Samurai is still as vicious in nature only more along the lines of Sun Tsu’s The Art of War.
Look for the record to barrel down the aisle of your favorite retailer on Halloween Day, 2006. Listen for a Richter scale measuring performance in a town near you as the band finds their way across the country on tour through the end of the year.