Back in the day, the Dwarves, sloshed and out of control, delivered some of the most unruly and intense punk shows ever. Their smokin’ fifteen-minute sets would degenerate into fistfights, instruments chucked at the audience, chaos, and broken noses. The early-’90s Blood, Guts and Pussy era of the band came to an end around the time its members sobered up, but they continued to crack skulls, releasing their best record, The Dwarves Are Young and Good Looking. Even a ho-hum Dwarves show can kick other bands’ asses to the far corners of the earth.
In recent years, singer Blag Dahlia (also an adept producer) has indulged in hurling every possible genre and sound onto the band’s records, and with The Dwarves Must Die, most everything he tries works. There’s a silly death metal song (“Blast”), chanting monks on “Christ on a Mic,” groovy surf guitar propelling “Bleed On,” a bouncy pop-punk song about what a sucky place “Salt Lake City” is, and two stabs at hip-hop — “Demented” and “Massacre” — that aren’t half bad, seeing as Blag can almost rap and the beats are kinda funky. But worry not, Dwarves enthusiasts: The band remains punk as fuck, and true to its core values of nudity, mayhem, and humping in the streets.