Animals - Drag City
FILTER Grade: 79%
By Bernardo Rondeau on September 13, 2010
On the scale of Drag City’s recent spate of excavated obscurities, Dwarr falls somewhere in the middle. It’s not as raw and immediate as Detroit power-trio Death, nor is it as discomfortingly insular and deranged as Chicago scuzzmeister J.T. IV. Sure, Dwarr may share attributes with the latter—both are one-man bands from outsider types whose given names, John Timmis IV and Duane Warr respectively, are contracted for their recording handles. However, Animals is a work inclined towards heavy metal fantasy that ends up sounding, unwittingly, closer to the amphibious post-punk of Chrome. Perhaps it’s just the astringent, watery timbre that suffuses the album or its penchant for flanges and phased-out licks instead of Marshall crunch or skull-rattling fuzz that diminishes its power. Plus, Warr’s no belter or banshee. His Novocaine-gargled vocals don’t pierce the woozy murk as much as languidly melt into its smudged contours. The crudely rendered carnage on its cover notwithstanding, Animals is far less doom than miasmic gloom.