Archive and Search
« Quiet Riot (Sort Of) Unplugs | Main | Rock Against MS All-Star Benefit Concert Planned »

Killer Dwarfs, 'Start @ One' -- Album Review

Killer Dwarfs Start @ One finally gets released... and I simply can not stop listening!!!

Start @ One, the newly released album by Canada's own Killer Dwarfs is amazing. The story behind the album is that the nine tracks were recorded back in 1993 as a follow-up to the Method to the Madness album. Unfortunately, due to changes in the music landscape that took place around that period of time, the album was shelved and never saw the light of day. I have read of bootleg copies that were circulated, but I never came across one. Fast forward to 2013, and Russ Dwarf and his bandmates, after remixing and remastering, decide to give the album a proper release.

Personally, I'm a huge fan of the prior Killer Dwarfs releases, Dirty Weapons and Method to the Madness. (Stand Tall was never one of my favorites). Start @ One picks up EXACTLY where these other albums left off. The songwriting, the singing, the whole feel of the album, is classic Dwarfs. I have always considered this band to be one of the most critically underrated from back in the day. In my opinion, they were standout performers who delivered a couple of incredibly solid albums. They were still following that trend when Start @ One was recorded, and this album exemplifies everything that was great about the circa 1993 Dwarfs. I only wish there were more than nine tracks on the album.

I think what also makes Start @ One an instant top release of 2013 to me is that the album just feels like a classic album from back in the period of time that we are all guilty of being stuck in. Because this album was actually recorded back then, and this is not simply an attempt by a band to record a new album that has that 1993 sound (such as Ratt's Infestation, which is close, but still falls a little short), the resulting difference is apparent. If you are at all a fan of the Dwarfs, you owe it to yourself to order or (legally) download a copy. I can't say enough good things about this album to drive the point home... so just trust me! Get yourself a copy and then thank me later.

Reader Comments (16)

I always thought the Killer Dwarfs were a great band. Seen them a few times back in the day at The Lost Horizon in Syracuse. I have a couple of autographs from the band. What I tried to do was have my band play with them on several bills. It would have been a great marketing tool. I can see the headlines now.
Live at the Lost Horizon, Four Large Men & The Killer Dwarfs.!!! LOL!!
September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoy
They were really good and put out a few really great songs. Driftin' Back is a favorite.

I especially loved that they had a sense of humour. My recollection from seeing them a couple of times in some local T.O. clubs was that they were all actually pretty small guys. To name the band Killer Dwarfs is just awesome.
September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRita
Great band, great record! I mean this very tongue-in-cheek, but if I could pick a year to be stuck in, it wouldn't be 1993. :)
September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Haha, Bob. You are 100% right. That was the tail end of the great era. My point was mostly that you can't fake the sound from that era and this album has that sound.

Go dunk.
September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian C.
Brian: I went on Itunes and listened to every song preview from this disc as I was going to buy it based on your review, but nothing grabbed my interest much. Convince me more. What songs are the standouts and why?
September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterfletch
I've seen them a few times live and met them and also have many photos taken of them n with them. They are a great band live and many great songs. I can't wait for the new CD I'll be vetting it for sure. Hopefully they play around here again to go see them and yes they are small guys lol.
September 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterglamrockerarchie
Dirty Weapons is one of my top 3 favorites from back in the day. That riff just makes me want to obliterate shit. Lol. It's one of those songs that comes on while driving and you suddenly find yourself doing 90 mph while banging your head as ya go....
September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGary
Great, great band - shoulda been huge (pun intended). As others have noted they also put on an amazing live show.
September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJack
Great band! The new album is excellent! They just finished a string of US dates with promises of another in the Spring. This time I hope they make it to Michigan. There is plenty of fan filmed footage of them performing on this past tour on Youtube. I encourage everyone to watch watch it and prepared for the attack of the Killer Dwarfs.
September 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterreptileblvd
i know these guys personally and they are the best at what they do. i had this record many years ago and as russ told me "don't make any copies" well i did what he told me and for the last 10 plus years i have been kicking my ass for not making a copy for myself........well now i can stop kicking my ass cause now i can get a copy. thanks a bunch guys.
lov ya's live

September 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterducky
oh, I get it...brian carvell is taking a cue from HIM and waiting a while before posting again. either that, or he's thinks that my question is unworthy. you decide.
September 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterfletch
Haha....sorry for the slow response. Wasn't ignoring, just busy.

I wasn't blown away by the samples either, but took the chance on the whole album. My favorites are sky is falling an lonely road. For lonely road, I just love the tone of Russ' voice and how he delivers the "yeahs" throughout. Plus, I personally always like when bands mix some half-time measures into a song. Sky is falling is just a rocker that sounds great played loudly in the car.

There is no one song that makes this album. But put together, the guitar time, the voice, and the straight-forward rock feel of this disc just make it least to me (hell, I played it again today on my ride down to the NY/NJ Kiss Expo).
September 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian C.
Just got this latest release, a veritable time capsule of fat stripped down power chords and Russ Dwarf's AMAZING voice with chops to spare, off iTunes and it is KILLER, har, har. I agree on all fronts (even about "Stand Tall"), Bri.

And you are right, too, about the sound of that era being tricky to replicate, but some of the kids are doing it.

Though I absolutely hear your point about the sound of an era, I absolutely love "Infestation", yet I agree the sound isn't as clean and fat as their old stuff and this Dwarfs album. It will be interesting to see how RATT sounds on their upcoming new one.

1993 marks where I pretty much draw the line when it comes to collecting our favorite genre, particularly the bands most of you have never heard of who's CD's trade for hundreds, if not thousands. I will occasionally make an exception for something exceptional (CRUSH, "Appetizer" from 1997, for example), so it's not a totally hard "cut-off", but, yeah, 1993 was when the last of the good stuff out the door, some of THE best, as a matter of fact.

It was pretty much a dead zone until 1999, when Buckcherry saved Rock And Roll with "Lit Up"!

p.s. Absolutely, Rita, their sense of humor, as with 99.999% of our music, is what totally puts it over the top. That's why Queensryche, with the exception of their signature, "Queen Of The Reich", never really did it for me. They just take themselves too seriously, just like Tesla (though I like Tesla's singer and a handful of their songs).
September 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
KISS Expo?! Brian! You're killin' me! Wish I lived in Jersey!
September 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
brian: I am downloding KD right ........................................................................................................................................................................NOW! thanks.

QR sucks any which way you look at it. As metalboy exclaims and I back up: WAY TOO seriously.

private note to MB (then again, not so private if I'm posting it here): are you sure you're not a jukebox hero?

oh, and personal message to HIM: thank you.
September 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterfletch
so many memories with this band method to the madness the album whole is just a part of my life. one of my favorites very underrated
October 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdj

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.