Vinyl Vlog 394

Vinyl Vlog 394

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Friday, 30 August 2019
COLUMN

The Dwarves
Take Back the Night

Love ’em or hate ’em, the Dwarves have been at it for a long time, man. And for good reason: they are quite good at what they do. As far as garage rock is concerned, there’s probably no one doing it better than them. Their album Blood Guts and Pussy frequently makes it at the top of best-of lists. As far as filthy offensive punk rock is concerned, these guys might also have set the standard. If anything, they’re the ones taking all the risks.

And it’s not that I got the Dwarves right away, either. For some reason, they had a home on Epitaph records for a while and made their way on several Punk-O-Rama compilations. I even saw them on a Punk-O-Rama tour back when those were a thing. There Better be Women is a song I always knew about but never motivated me to check out their albums. It’s only after I started hanging with a group a friends who were fans that I decided to give them a chance. There Better Be Women might have been my introduction to the Dwarves but Take Back Rock and Roll is where I really started doing my homework. That album had some of the catchiest yet raw songs I’ve ever heard, and they have stuck with me after all these years. A study of their catalog brought me to Blood Guts and Pussy, Come Clean, Free Cocaine which ran the gamut of sound from trashy lo-fi garage to straight-up pop songs, and several times did the song themes make me uncomfortable enough to make ask myself, “These guys are just kidding, right?”

But this wouldn’t be the same kind of punk rock world without the Dwarves in them, and it’s always a celebration when they put out a new album, especially one that sounds like Take Back the Night. There’s a certain unique quality to the Dwarves these days that’s hard to pin down and that makes them totally unique. The songs are both unsafe and filled with some of the funnest melodies you can imagine. Take Julio and Trace Amounts, for example. And thematically, Takes Back the Night takes all the risks we’d come to imagine from the Dwarves. This band treads carefully, exposing some of the darkest aspects of humanity without exactly celebrating them. They explore the motivations and circumstances of some of our nastiest impulses and lets the listener decide how they feel about them. That’s some pretty edgy stuff, and not everyone is going to be comfortable with that.

The Dwarves have jumped around to several labels over the years and for some reason, it feels great seeing them on Burger records. Take Back the Night has gone through several represses and now comes in gorgeous red vinyl to make all your punk rock dreams come true.

Take Back the Night has a harder edge to the poppier direction the Dwarves have been taking with their music. It’s bound to please fans and turn some new heads in their direction. It’s another solid entry into the catalog of a band who’s both underrated, and exactly where they should be.

Get it from Burger Records.

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