Hey folks! It’s The Best Fucking Collaboration Week Ever, Pt. 2! Just like last time, Mike and Aaron will be doing simultaneous daily reviews of albums. This time, they’re covering stuff these two intrepid music reporters have sent to each other. Buckle up, buttercups, it’s gonna be a blast!
I found this Russ Dwarf CD at the thrift shop, still in the shrinkwrap! I texted Mike, he didn’t have it yet, so away it went to a much better home. Same as the last KD album I found there!
Honestly, I know the name Killer Dwarfs, but I never much went out of my way to hear or collect them. It’s no fault of their own. I’m sure they make excellent albums and are fine, upstanding gentlemen. They just never much crossed my path. So a solo record by one of the Dwarfs? That’s a couple of steps out for me, so let’s see how it goes!
Well! Turns out that this is an acoustic album, revisiting a bunch of old Killer Dwarfs songs. And here I was thinking I wouldn’t know any songs, and the first track, Keep The Spirit Alive, is one I knew instantly. Ha, go figure. This could have devolved into a bad house party acoustic guitar version, but carried by Russ’ vocals, it’s really quite excellent.
Stand Tall has some super-cool guitar work, and manages to sound like a full-on rock song despite being so stripped down. I’m Alive is a highlight track, here. It’s slinky good fun. Startin’ To Shine even has some bluegrass feel to it. Doesn’t Matter is the concert staple feel good acoustic tune. I assume this was always an acoustic tune?
Comin’ Through is a get out of my way attitude track that should sound funny on acoustic guitars, but it works! Dirty Weapons comes across as one of those L.A. sleaze rock 80s sunset strip acoustic ballads, and that’s OK! It’s time for the lights to go down, and the band to bring it in close and keep it real! Haha. Look Around is another pretty number fit for a slot on any rocker record, Four Seasons has some sort of weirdo noise thing on the intro, then it’s another strummer track, although he really lets it go on the vocals here, wowzers. And finally, Driftin’ Back adds some piano and closes out the record with one more acoustic beauty.
If this was an acoustic set in a club somewhere, the place would be going nuts, right about now.
Rock songs reinterpreted as acoustic versions can go one of two ways. They can suck all the life out of the originals, and leave you wondering why these people bothered. Or, they can make for cool and interesting versions. This record is the latter, and more interesting for me as i didn’t know all of the originals, so now I’m probably always gonna hear them as these versions, even if I eventually hear the electric versions.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. The guitar work is excellent, and it was fun hearing an obvious rawk sing-ah* apply their voice to versions like this. Well done!
* I cracked myself up imagining this guy singing in a church service. Pick a hymn and hear that voice… all the little old ladies would rush the front!