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POP MUSIC REVIEW : The Dwarves: Confrontational Show at Bogart's

August 06, 1993|LORRAINE ALI

The Dwarves' guitarist kicked a slam-dancing member of the audience square in the face just minutes into the shock-heavy punk band's set on Wednesday at Bogart's. Some opening move, eh?

Although the outburst was startling, it was no surprise to anyone familiar with the San Francisco quartet, which is renowned for violent, confrontational shows--as well as offensive lyrics and album covers.

If anything, the violence got worse as the set progressed: A band member smashed a fan on the head after the fan bumped into him while dancing on stage, and another musician cracked a beer bottle over someone's head when fans started trashing the group's equipment at the end of the show. Some closing move, eh?

So what about the music?

Most of the songs clocked in at under two minutes, and they were effective in the adrenaline-pumping punk sense. The band only played for 15 minutes, but maybe that's all you should expect. If they did that much damage in a quarter-hour, there may not have been anyone left standing in the club if the set had gone the normal length.

If the Dwarves had to rely on music alone, they'd just be another face in the post-punk crowd. But as long as they literally attack that post-punk crowd, they have a perverse "look at that car accident" appeal that may best be left to psychologists to explain.

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