Kerrang! June 1990

KILLER DWARFS – Hammerjacks, Baltimore

YOU WANNA know something? Since reviewing the new Killer Dwarfs album ‘Dirty Weapons’, the damn thing has grown on me just as I thought it would. And what’s more, the material from it pretty much kills live.

Even though the Canadians hadn’t hit Baltimore in three years, they weren’t forgotten. A healthy flow of people through the front door ensured the Dwarfs were never in any danger of going over like a fart in a spacesuit.

As anyone familiar with the quartet’s music will know, over the last few years the band have defined their own particular brand of rock ‘n’ roll that’s dependent on the fluid, melodic guitar runs of Mike Hall laced around a strong rhythmic backbone provided by bassist ‘Bad’ Ronald and drummer Darrell Dwarf (aka Ron Mayer and Darrell Millar).

But, as ever, the star of the show is vocalist Russ Graham. It’s been well over a year since the band opened up for Iron Maiden in the UK, but I’d bet few have forgotten the somewhat unusual stage antics of the pint-sized frontman,

The tricycle has been returned to the attic following an unfortunate incident involving some lights belonging to Maiden, but all the other shit remains a healthy part of Russ’ mischief: the handstands, the forays into the audience and the evil smiles – not forgetting the – Steevi Jaimz-approved dance of the dying fly on the grubby floor!

Naturally, the bulk of the set is taken up with material culled from the new record: ‘All That We Dream’, ‘Last Laugh’, a particularly vicious ‘Comin’ Through’ and ‘One way Out’, along with the title track and a rather emotional ‘Doesn’t Matter’, with Russ taking up the acoustic and letting’ a few tears roll down the odd girlie’s cheek.

As for the older stuff, ‘Power’, ‘Union Of Pride’ and the ultra melodic ‘Keep The Spirit Alive’ got a look in, but that was about it. Not that it matters when a band deliver a set full of quality shit with not a chink in its armour.

The Dwarfs are looking’ to tour Europe again this year. Miss them at your peril.


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