Review Summary: The Band That Wouldn't Die, Part 9: Fun to Try
Okay, so The Dwarves Invented Rock ‘N’ Roll
is better than Born Again
. It’s six minutes shorter, it mostly drops the irksome self-lionization, and it leans a bit harder into the Dwarves’ “pop” side, even taking a couple fun, peppy stabs at ‘50s-inspired doo-wop-ishness. “Trailer Trash”, “Sluts of the USA” and “Fun to Try” may all be bone-stupid, but they’re bone-stupid in a way that works, because they know exactly what they are and don’t try to be anything more.
Sadly, 3 enjoyable songs out of 14 does not a great album make. Over half of the remaining 11 tracks are the kind of faceless, gutless pap-punk The Dwarves used to eat for breakfast. Generic, lazy Warped Tour pabulum like “Kings of the World”, “Armageddon Party” and “Anything You Want” could have just as easily been released by Good Charlotte or Sum 41 or any of the 100 other bands The Dwarves seem convinced they still have so much more artistic integrity than.
Other tracks are simply baffling, like “Bleed Alright”, which concludes after a minute or so but continues to putter around until nearly the 3-minute mark, or “Dead on the Floor”, a bizarre sort of dumbed-down Megadeth pastiche that comes off as oddly preachy. Particularly head-scratching is “Fiction”, which has a vocal part Blag could have easily handled himself, but inexplicably passed off to bassist Nick Oliveri (AKA Rex Everything), who does a decidedly inferior job of it.
The Dwarves Invented Rock ‘N’ Roll
is not a confused mess like Must Die
, and it’s not an egotistical circlejerk like Born Again
. But at the same time, so much of it feels so devoid of weight or substance that it’s hard to give it much credit for these things. The best thing I can say about it is that it’s fine. The worst thing I can say about it is that it’s starting to seem like “fine” is as much as these guys are capable of at this point.