RUSS DWARF – Wireless (2013)

RUSS DWARF - Wireless (2013) mp3 download)


If there was in Canada two pioneer Hard Rock bands since the beginning of the ’80s we have to mention Helix, largely the most successful commercially, but also we got Killer Dwarfs, who managed to garner cult status over the years with their more straight forward, energetic blue-collar Hard Rock.

Front man RUSS DWARF is returning with several projects in the works, the first to grace us is “Wireless” which, as the title suggests, is a collection of unplugged and re-worked Killer Dwarf classics.

Unplugged albums live and die with the voice, and despite decades of commanding the stage with the elegance of a homeless drunk and often ending up on his head, Russ Dwarf still has the vocal chords needed to make “Wireless” work.

The recording opens with “Keep The Spirit Alive”, one of the Dwarf’s biggest hits and the acoustic treatment this song received is simply brilliant. Maintaining all the power and energy of the original this unplugged version is fresh and alive, taking you on an emotional ride.

Next comes “Stand Tall” featuring a great solo from Mr. Glen Drover (Megadeth, Geoff Tate’s Queensryche), followed by “Starting To Shine” (where Russ shines indeed), “Doesn’t Matter” and “Coming Through”, all very true to the original versions.

The big surprise for me came on track seven, “Dirty Weapons” a mellowed out rendition of this great tune, redone with a hauntingly dark and moody arrangement that totally gives a new dimension to the song.

Closing the CD is one of my all time favorite Killer Dwarf tunes, “Drifting Back”. This track is perfect for an acoustic album and Russ called on a friend to add a little spice to it: Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (Guns N’ Roses).

Killer Dwarfs’ front man Russ Dwarf has released an absolutely terrific acoustic fresh recording that grips your attention from the first track to the very last.

Personally I find that unplugged albums either work well or totally crash and burn. “Wireless” fits in the first appreciation, without sacrificing the energy of the original electric versions, totally nailing their essence and giving to them a new spark.

Production is damn near perfect for this type of products with warm and clear acoustic guitars accompanying one of Canada’s greatest Rock voices. Russ is blessed with one of those instantly familiar throats and unlike many vocalists of his era, he hasn’t lost a step.

As his biggest hit says, Russ Dwarf still “Keep The Spirit Alive”, showing no signs of slowing down as a solo artist with more projects coming soon.

Very Good.

01. Keep The Spirit Alive

02. Stand Tall

03. I’m Alive

04. Startin’ To Shine

05. Doesn’t Matter

06. Comin’ Through

07. Dirty Weapons

08. Look Around

09. Four Seasons

10. Driftin’ Back

Russ Dwarf – vocals

Glenn Belcher – guitar, sitar

Rob ‘Zaks’ Zakojc – bass and backing vocals

Glen Drover – guitar (2)

Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal – guitar (10)

Kevin Simpson – guitar

Dan Lear – guitar

Kevin Reid – guitar

Cosimo Crupi – keyboards

Fred Duvall – percussion


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