“Dwarves psycho!” – anonymous Japanese fan.
Listen for a moment. Do you hear something? A sort of hissing whipcrack followed by a soft fleshsplash ripping sound? Yes, that’s right, it’s the sound of a dead cash cow being flogged (umm…s**t, you know what I mean) in the form of the latest DVD release from SFVD punks The Dwarves, a supposedly dead musick (sic)(very sic) entity. Blag ‘Repressed Librarian’ Dahlia supposedly killed these bunch of jokers off with their last album, ‘The Dwarves Must Die’, and yet here he is putting out another DVD of their videos to keep their name in the pub(l)ic consciousness. Guess his crack or ‘male enhancement pill’ habit must be an expensive one to support. And who am I to argue?
The half-hour or so of visuals you get here breaks down into three separate sections: music videos, extras, and live footage. The music videos are two versions (one X-rated, the other…not) of the classic singalong Ramones-meets-Beach-Boys single ‘Salt Lake City’ from the ‘last’ album with live footage from the band’s 2005 Japanese tour. This video is pretty much what you expect, with mucho yen changing hands, crazed Oriental fans leaping around…and ugly middle-aged sexhibitionist HeWhoCannotBeClothed getting wanked off by some skank as he stands over her in the crowd. Funny…and a great song to boot. We also get the X-rated version perversion version of the great song ‘Over You’ from the 2000 album ‘Come Clean’. Seeing as how this video was included on their last release, ‘F**k You Up And Get Live’, I would have to say it’s just here to up the running time, or the breast quotient. Pick your own cynical reason. The other video is for the excellent song ‘We Must have Blood’ from ‘The Dwarves Are Young And Good Looking’ (again recycled from the last live video) and is utterly hilarious, just full of footage of the band kicking the living s**t out of crowds who have paid to see them in their Sub Pop inglory daze. This is one of the funniest f*****g music videos I have ever seen, the lyrics about spilling blood marrying well with the images, and it never fails to make me laugh. Doubt I’d have found it funny if I was one of the crowd getting kicked in the face or smacked with a guitar or drums, mind you, but I’m not and I wasn’t so…comedy central it is.
What else? Oh yeah. The live footage is taken from three different sources: Donnington Festival in England 2005; Halloween 2002 at the Great American, San Francisco; and the Troubadour in Los Angeles in 2000. The sound isn’t too great on any of these segments, as the gigs obviously haven’t been recorded with a view to commercially releasing them (with maybe the exception of Donnington, but that suffers from the usual open-air sound dissipation you associate with a mudbath festerville) and some of the editing is ridiculously choppy, just jumping from one song to halfway through the next with no warning. Worth watching, I suppose, if you’re a diehardcore fan, although the Halloween footage does present us with the extremely disturbing image of Dahlia dressed as a f*****g cheerleader(!) as he sings, so approach with caution (thrown to the wind). But you get a good cross-section of songs from several albums, so it’s not all bad.
Last and least is the extras section, which gives us some video shot at the shooting of the bubble-covered naked-women-and-dwarf (Bobby Faust, who musta sold his soul to get to hang around naked with some of the hot females he has been on the band’s album covers with over the years) cover for ‘Come Clean’ (man, that wee hing wi the broon hair is cute is f**k n his got a great tight wee fuckin erse!). More breast count footage, or excitement for ‘vertically challenged’ people fetishists. In this DVD section we also get two somewhat amusing acoustic songs from Donnington, shot in a small tent stage there. One is a cover of the classic ‘Drugstore’ from 1990’s ‘Blood Guts & P***y’ (best Dwarves album for my money) with Nick Oliveri and the Fresh Prince of Darkness doing stringstrummer honors as Dahlia croons swooningly over the bald Mondo Generator nutter member’s shoulder. Without the electric component to the song, I never noticed before how much it rips off ‘Suburban Home’ by The Descendents. The other number is Dahlia playing guitar himself to a poignant romance ditty entitled ‘Bitch I Love You’. I never knew he could play guitar as well as fight crowds and get naked onstage. Multitalented. I’m impressed.
Overall, I’d have to say that any Dwarves fan would definitely get a kick out of this DVD, but I have reservations about it, primary amongst which would be the fact that the music videos have all already been up on www.thedwarves.com so I’d seen them already. I suppose I shouldn’t complain, seeing as how I got a free copy (for which I should thank Dahlia’s greedy business partner Paul Cafaro) I can’t really complain, but it’s only $10 to buy anyway. The sound on the live sections is, as I have said, pretty poor in places, and there’s only so many times you want to see a crowd shouting “F**K THE DWARVES!” and giving the camera the finger as they spit on it. There’s no new material on here, so there’s not much that would add to any fan’s enjoyment of the band, with the possible exception of the quirky acoustic stuff, which made me chuckle. Apart from that, this band is (un)officially DEAD AND BURIED, Dahlia, so either do some new sick schtick sonic stuff (wouldn’t surprise me) or let it go. Cos there’s not much more milk left to be gotten from this dead horse, that’s for sure…