Seji: Guitar Wolf
A lot of things make me want to vomit when I think about music: trance, one of my crash cymbals, Nickelback, the people who talk constantly about the GREAT ROCK N ROLL COME BACK! Some people should be deaf, dumb and blind kids…
How many records has Guitar Wolf released? I don’t really know and I would like to stress on the fact that I am not a scholar about this band. I only have three of their records; Missile Me, the magnificent Jet Generation and UFO Romantics, their latest production (is it really possible to deal with production as far as the sound goes? That would be an interesting point to discuss…). I have thus been elected as the most experienced among everyone at Only Angels to review this record. Anyway, if anyone reading these lines wanna vomit because I’m writing too much bullshit, please try to avoid your computer’ s screen and keyboard and send a mail to Only Angels.
I guess that Guitar Wolf represents rock n’ roll in its very intense form. Actually, they are lok n’ lol. Anyone familiar with them must know about the way their records sound like: feedbacks, a blend of Japanese/English lyrics, more feedbacks, sounds situated between thunder, a hurricane and a volcano erupting. And if you are not familiar with them, this was a kind of description. They play a straight rock n’ roll with quite short songs made with a maximum of 6 chords and a screaming line of lyrics. The influences: the Rolling Stones, Clash, Eddie Cochran, Joan Jett and something of The Who I guess.
Well, the recipe remains the same. Except that now, the lyrics are clearer. Don’ t expect to understand them but (as usual) you will be able to shout the name of the songs along with Seji (the Guitar wolf) while having a good old air guitar. As a matter of fact, the record seems to be a little more ‘precise’ (!!) than the previous ones but don’t be fooled by the singing, they still sound rare and crude as far as the music goes. Everything is recorded live on 6 tracks and a mini-disc walkman for the voice. Actually, we interviewed them last month (coming soon on Only Angels) and they told us that they have changed in the way they work since they switched from 4 to 6 tracks. I should have asked them how many sound engineers committed hara-kiri while working with them…But anyway, this extremely important revolution in their recording process must be the reason why the record seems to be clearer.
What about the songs now? The record starts with great Guitar Wolf: Hi No Tana Red (Red Fireball), Houkago Sandaa( School’s out thunder) and Taxi Driver. Then 2 or three songs are standing back a little. But the end of the record should make everyone agree. Jet Beer, Orange Juice And Inazuma No Melody take us back to Jet Generation, their previous record. Back to a telluric sound, something completely out of control just as their live shows…
Rock n’ Roll has not came back but has always been here (fuck me, I sound like Phillipe Manoeuvre writing about the Rolling Stones…). Fuck the Libertines, D-4, Strokes, Vines, White Stripes… Guitar Wolf has been playing for almost ten years now and no one should be allowed to ignore them (except if you are a Moby fan because it’s too late to do something for you). Jon Spencer looks good, plays good live shows and rocks. Guitar Wolf are alien-zombie killers in leather wolf suits, they risk their lives at each of their shows and they embody rock n’ roll. This record is not another Jet Generation which is definitely the best one so far (this is only my opinion…). Still, jet rock n' roll is back and its sharp teeth are gonna make everyone bleed.
-Horace de Tupolev
/jan 15th 2002/