You will never believe this. Guitar Wolf’s latest release, Narnack’s reissue of 2000’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Etiquette, is one of the most out there experimental and life changing albums you’ve never heard. It stands easily among the best records of the past five years. Arcade Fire who? This album will change the way you think about music.
Just kidding! And if you didn’t believe that hyperbole for even a second, then I’m sorry for wasting your time. If you were one of those immediately doubtful folks though, that means you know what Guitar Wolf is all about, and good for you. Is this record different from any of their other releases in regards to sound and style? No way -- that sound and style being more of the messy Japanese flavored punk rock the band is known for. Surprise!
Yes, this is more of the same dirty, fiery, super-poorly recorded rock and roll. Is that a bad thing? Well, do you like Guitar Wolf? If you were never too hot on the band before, this record will not win over any converts. If you have yet to hear them though, and can appreciate the quality (or lack thereof), then Rock ‘n’ Roll Etiquette will rock your world. It’s got some of Guitar Wolf’s best songs, including “Sky Star Jet,” that wicked song from the Wild Zero DVD menue (reviewers note: one of the best times I’ve ever had was playing the drinking game in the special features section). Lock and Lollllllll!
Among some of the better tracks are album opener “God-Speed_You,” “Jet Virus” and “Earth Love.” There are also a few decent covers here, including a surprisingly competent rendition of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66.” Truth be told, everyone who enjoys the music of Guitar Wolf does so for pretty much the same reason. The mixture of shitty recording and speedy freight-train rock coming from slick Japanese guys in black shades and leather will always be cool. Jet Generation is still their best album but in my collection Rock ‘n’ Roll Etiquette gets a close second. If you’re not afraid of a little ear bleed, Guitar Wolf are for you.
- Andrew Iliadis
/mar 1st 2005/