The Dwarves Are Born Again
Yes. Oh, yes. The Dwarves: angry, vicious, unrepentant; crude, frequently
naked, fun. The epitome of punk. Bloodied and bruised in live shows,
always intimidating but never outdone. Whod have thought theyd
last 25 years?
Notorious as much for their onstage antics as their music, The Dwarves
have always been a byword for chaos. Whether its blood-covered
lead singer Blag Dahlia assaulting the crowd with his microphone, naked
guitarist HeWhoCannotBeNamed infamously faking his own death, their
bass player disappearing without trace during a crack binge in Detroit
or their arrest by a truculent policeman live on stage, their antics
have often overshadowed their music, which is a shame as its some
of the best punk rock youre ever likely to hear.
Finally following up 2004s seminal The Dwarves Must Die,
an eclectic album which showcased the bands ability to seamlessly
shift between genres, moving through surf-rock, industrial, hip-hop
and good old fashioned punk while still maintaining their ferocity and
sense of fun, stylistically The Dwarves Are Born Again is
a return to the hardcore punk of earlier albums like Blood Guts
& Pussy, but with far higher production values, a pop-punk
sensibility and more polished songwriting. The result is a masterpiece,
one of the bands best albums and a high water mark for punk in
general. These 18 songs, only two clocking over two minutes in length,
encapsulate everything thats primitive, abhorrent and fucking
glorious about punk.
From the opening The Dwarves Are Still the Best Band in the World,
with its lets get high and fuck some sluts refrain,
its clear that age has not mellowed them and maturity is a concept
that still eludes them. Good. Their celebrated crudeness is evident
throughout, from the self-explanatory I Masturbate Me to
the paean to underage sex Fake ID, complete with sampled
police sirens, to the slacker anthem Working Class Hole
to the stunningly brutal Your Girls Mom, which features
screaming vocals from Nick Oliveri. A particular highlight is Zip
Zero, an ode to a hard-livin, hard-rockin imaginary
superhero surreally balanced by what sounds like a shoutout from an
elderly radio announcer. Strange, rocking, glorious, its my favourite
song on the album.
The 18 songs fly by in a haze of aggression, humour and ferocious fucked-upness,
and after the albums over I cant wait to listen to it again.
A bastion of punk values, experimentation and great songwriting in the
increasingly watered down world of punk, The Dwarves are a timely reminder
of the heights the genre can reach. 25 years on the road havent
dimmed their fire; if anything the years have just made them angrier,
crasser and more fucking awesome. Support your local deviants: buy this
record. If nothing else, itll keep them in drugs for a few days.