Guitar Wolf – LOVE&JETT (Third Man Records)

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Bizarrely, I once boarded a ship in Bristol to witness Guitar Wolf in the flesh. Ably assisted by two friends (yes, I do have a few), they declared the Japanese legends as one of the worst bands they had ever seen live! Me on the other hand absolutely lapped up their noisy three chord punk rock. The whole show could’ve fallen apart at any given moment, and perhaps it did, I don’t know. All I do know, and this is quite some feat, is that the garage power trio were one louder than Motörhead. Seiji totally captivated me with his Epiphone SG being used as a punk rock cannon; feedback swirling all around, making the guitar and drum smashing outro of My Generation sound like a whimsical John Lewis advert at Christmas. What a night!

LOVE&JETT is album number thirteen for the self-proclaimed Jet Rock ‘n Rollers, and the first with Bass Wolf IV (Gotz) who joined the band last year. It’s absolutely pointless getting all philosophical over a Guitar Wolf album. Overanalysing would be like teaching your Granny how to suck eggs. Look, it’s 10 songs, weighs in at 25 minutes and makes the Ramones sound complex. Even with the production ever so slightly tamed, and we’re talking the width of a Rizla paper here, it’s another dangerous blast of rock ‘n’ roll fury. Released via Jack White’s Third Man Records, it could be argued that this is the most commercial Guitar Wolf have sounded… if that’s even fucking possible! And is LOVE&JETT the most loved-up Guitar Wolf have been? Well, their 2001 “ballad” I Love You, OK will take some beating.

The awesomely titled Sex Jaguar is my pick of the bunch and as the band aren’t opposed to a cover or two, in 2019 they take on The Spencer Davis Group’s Gimme Some Lovin’ with devastating results. Sweet baby Jesus, I love this band even though I have absolutely no idea what they’re singing about for the most parts. I’d hazard a guess at motorbikes and leather jackets in the best/worst B movie ever. Oh, and speaking of low rent films, it’s worth checking out 1999’s Wild Zero, a flick featuring the band amid horror and trash. Zombies and Guitar Wolf? What’s not to love?

After 30+ ear damaging years on the underground, Guitar Wolf have delivered exactly what you’d expect of them, and it would be disappointing if they didn’t. In your best singing voices, all together now… ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR! ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!!! Ginge Knievil

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