This one just floored me when I first heard it, which occurred the same month or so that I bought THE DWARVESâ€™ â€œToolinâ€™ for A Warm Teabagâ€, an EP that to this day rivals the first RED CROSS 12â€ for over-and-done punk rock godhead. I was just getting over the first show of theirs Iâ€™d seen in late 1988, which Iâ€™ll recount for you in a second, but when I got their â€˜88 â€œLick It / Nothingâ€ single (a UK-only thing on Ubik records), I knew the DWARVES had been total superstars for at least a year following their loud-psych period (represented in the LPs â€œHorror Storiesâ€ and the earlier SUBURBAN NIGHTMARE record). I may not have been present at the creation, but I hooked on early & rode the violent wave for dear life. This single in particular still totally rules. That the band is still alive more than two decades after their birth is a musical abomination, though I certainly understand payinâ€™ the bills.
Hereâ€™s what I wrote about the band and this era a few years ago:
Among the top 10 rock moments of my life was the first time I saw THE DWARVES in 1988 at San Franciscoâ€™s Covered Wagon Saloon. The band was in full bloom from their transition from horror-splashed 60s-inspired garage band to raging hardcore-inspired 30-seconds-flat punk rock band, but I didnâ€™t know that yet. Expecting a heavy dose of angry, keyboard-driven psychedelia, I instead got a ballistic six song, five minute set with so much crazed misanthropic energy that the small crowd was driven into the nether regions of the club, fleeing singer Blag Jesus with a mixture of terror and shit-eating glee. Jesus would announce the song title (â€œThis oneâ€™s called â€œMotherfuckerâ€, or â€œThis oneâ€™s called â€œFuckheadâ€), and it was 1,2,3, panic for the next forty-five seconds. The whole band was totally nuts, but from this day forward my favorite Dwarve â€“ nay, my favorite rock and roller â€“ was bassist Salt Peter, who affected the most ridiculous bad-ass leather-jacketed rock poses you could imagine, a combination of the exceptionally effeminate and the Hellâ€™s Angel-style ugly. I canâ€™t do it justice in words, but the memories are strong. Needless to say, I was more than hooked, and I proceeded to attend pretty much every show they played in SF up until about 1991 or so, when they had convincingly passed into mediocrity and self-parody.