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The Dwarves Must Die

Dwarves

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Album Review

A band that got kicked off Sub Pop for playing pranks (turns out their guitarist wasn't dead!) shouldn't be releasing albums so well constructed, should they? Album covers with naked/bloody women and midgets, half-hour-long albums and 15 minute shows, and a total aversion to telling the truth give the Dwarves a lower profile than you'd think if you only heard the music. It keeps the band a dirty little secret. If you want in and can stand the guy or girl behind the counter sizing you up for buying an album with such a filthy cover, The Dwarves Must Die is an excellent place to start. Producer Eric Valentine — the man who gave everyone from Smash Mouth to Queens of the Stone Age his winning slick and loud treatment — keeps the chaos clear as a bell and makes this the most accessible Dwarves album yet. Luckily, the band is ready for Valentine's cool touch with an inspired, biting set of tunes that put the pedal to the metal. There are punk, garage, and metal sounds, of course, along with the catchy, over the top pop that was featured on 2000's Come Clean and some hip-hop that's just plain fun. Dexter Holland from the Offspring, Nick Oliveri from Queens of the Stone Age, Nash Kato from Urge Overkill, and the man who voiced the original Space Ghost — Gary Owens — all show up as guests, but they're only pawns in the Dwarves' deviant game. Running at just over half an hour, The Dwarves Must Die is tight and doesn't wear out its welcome. As much as the Dwarves try to sabotage their own career with a "stay away" attitude, their music keeps getting better and better. If it wasn't for the blood and nudity, they'd be huge.

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Biography

Formed: 1983 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Short of G.G. Allin, it would be hard to name a punk rock band that went further to establish a bad reputation than the Dwarves. Playing deliberately crude, high-speed punk rock dripping with bad attitude, the Dwarves — led by vocalist Blag Dahlia and guitarist He Who Cannot Be Named — matched their music with lyrics that celebrated all sorts of bad behavior, and their album covers almost invariably featured full frontal nudity. Add in the band's live shows, which often lasted less...
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The Dwarves Must Die, Dwarves
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