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HARDWARES

RUSS DWARF

Wireless

(Independent)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 8.0

The head-spinning, cartwheeling vocalist Russ Dwarf is a two time Canadian Juno Award nominee and founding member of THE KILLER DWARFS. The K’ Dwarfs were a staple of the mid-eighties Canadian rock/metal scene right up there with HELIX and APRIL WINE. On Wireless, Russ sounds inspired and invigorated while belting out 10 stripped-down, re-worked KD classics with heart and soul. Unplugged albums are a waste of time to me, as it changes the whole dynamic of the original amplified version. However, if the singer has an excellent voice in which to carry the tune and take it to a different, more personal level in its acoustic form, then it’s ok. And thankfully, Russ’s vocals are top-notch. Also, the musicians Russ has assembled are accomplished musicians in their own right, including GUNS N' ROSES guitarist, Bumblefoot, who delivers a blistering solo on the album’s closing track, 'Driftin’ Back' from KD’s 1992 Method to the Madness album. Russ’s two most famous and identifiable KD songs, ‘Keep the Spirit Alive’ and ‘Stand Tall’ are pretty good updates. They are a little slower than the original, but Russ does some soulful ad-libbing and some cool vocal stylings. The mood of the album is fresh, uplifting and darn catchy while the production is warm and inviting. If you don’t mind stripped-down acoustic versions and liked what TESLA did with their Five Man Acoustical Jam release, then Wireless will surely please, as it begs the listener to enthusiastically sing along.



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