"Two things really drive me insane/Teenage women and free cocaine," sings Dwarves
frontman Blag Dahlia, leading the self-destructive Windy City punkers through their preferred paces: drugs, perversion and oblivion. Like the Dead Kennedys sporting the Sonics' garage-rock chassis, early on the Dwarves' sonic ferocity was matched by legendary, anarchic performances that often ended in fistfights minutes into the set. Irreverent to a fault, when they faked the death of their masked guitarist, HeWhoCannotBeNamed, an embarrassed Sub Pop summarily dropped them, and the band broke up. Since reuniting in 1997, though, they've sacrificed much of the unpredictable combustibility for a broader musical palette. The humor's not as scathing, but the songwriting's better a reasonable sacrifice considering the general short shelf-life of punk anarchy.