KILLER DWARFS – Start @ One (2013)
Canadian hard rockers KILLER DWARFS have reunited after many years and are releasing their long lost album “Start @ One”. The story behind the recording is that the nine tracks were taped back in 1993 as a follow-up to ‘Method to the Madness’, Killer Dwarfs’ last CD on Sony/Epic. Unfortunately, due to changes in the music landscape that took place around those years the album was shelved and never saw the light of day.
Fast forward to 2013, Russ Dwarf and his bandmates after remixing and remastering, decided to give the album a proper release.
Recorded in 1993 at Powerlines Studios in Toronto, Ontario, with producer/engineer Fred Duvall – who also recently produced and recorded the very successful Russ Dwarf solo acoustic release ‘Wireless’ presented here – the album’s line-up is the same as in the nineties; Russ Dwarf on vocals, drummer Darrell Dwarf, bass player Ronbo Dwarf and guitarist Gerry Dwarf.
The music in “Start @ One” is spot-on to the band’s classic hard rock sound that Killer Dwarfs fans have become accustomed to.
Out of the gates the Dwarfs’ takes off on the opening song “Lonely Road”. Sporting a catchy melodic vocal line that hovers over the crunch of the electric guitar and rhythmic pulse of the bass and drums, Russ welcomes fans back into the land of Killer Dwarfs.
The majority of the songs has a positive up-tempo vibe. “Solid Ground” captures this feeling about chasing one’s hopes and dreams. “Sky is Falling” opens with a heavy dissident riff and Russ vocals soars as the verse kicks in. The chorus has a layered gang vocal with a unique harmony, very catchy and certainly memorable.
“Adalina” has a familiar bass groove while Bon Jovi pops in your mind here. The Dwarfs rawk it up on this track which balances soft then heavy dynamics to perfection. Add in the solo by Gerry Dwarf and this is a true ripping classic sounding hard rocker.
“Psycho Circus” is a song that predates Kiss’ version by five years so there is no copycat leanings happening here. This one fires up the tempo as the guitar opens with a moving, grinding style of electric mayhem. Title track “Start @ One” is up next, another bon-a-fide Dwarfs song; lyrics, music and vocals, it’s all there.
“Down In Hollywood” again kicks in with a riffing, kicking electric guitar groove. It certainly has that ‘80s rockin’ vibe akin to the Sunset Strip golden years with a nice break down in the middle recalling Van Halen’s Panama but the solo that follows is its own beast entirely.
“Walk On By” continues on the same path with a plus of melodic lines, while “The Crowd” wraps the album up, the closest to anything resembling a ballad on the entire CD. It quickly picks up the pace as the band kicks in, the chorus has an easy, catchy vocal melody and the guitars have plenty of crunch.
“Start @ One” picks up exactly where the previous Killer Dwarfs albums left off. The songwriting, the singing, the whole feel on the recording is classic Dwarfs. In short, late ’80s American / Canadian Hard Rock with melody.
It’s an album that is worthy of multiple spins and fans of the genre should most definitely add to their collection. The production is flawless, every instrument sits perfectly in the mix and Russ vocals fits right in the middle, not too loud or to low. A real good balance has been struck by Duvall behind the desk.
1. Lonely Road
2. Solid Ground
3. Sky Is Falling
5. Psycho Circus
6. Start @ One
7. Down in Hollywood
8. Walk On By
9. The Crowd
Russ Dwarf – vocals
Gerry Dwarf – guitar, backing vocals
Ronbo Dwarf – bass, backing vocals
Darrell Dwarf – drums
BUY IT !