ROCK ‘N’ ROLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!
Forget P90X, or whatever trendy workout routines give you gym douchebags a hard on. If you want a true soul-energizing, mind-manifesting, body-transforming experience, plant yourself down front and center at the altar of the monolithic messiahs of Jet Rock n Roll, Guitar Wolf.
Wednesday night at The Satellite, Los Angeles was given a much needed sonic injection by Japan’s premiere purveyors of power punk. As Guitar Wolf Seiji himself said recently: “Looking around today’s music scene in the US and UK, I don’t find as many crazy great rock bands as before. That’s why we are here. We are here to bite you with our fangs to wake you up.” Those in attendance can attest: the bite was deep and we rocked hard with a full moon in our eyes. Clad in leather and shades, Seiji (Guitar Wolf), U.G. (new Bass Wolf), and Toru (Drum Wolf), bashed out over two hours of some of the loudest, most furious rock n roll that I have had the pleasure to have witnessed. The crowd seemed equally blown away as they seethed about ecstatically nonstop through the entire set (which included three encores). Never before have I been covered in so much sweat and beer!
At one point, some lucky guy was pulled from the crowd and granted the honor of thrashing on Seiji’s guitar. Seiji stared intensely (through his wraparound sunglasses) at the dude for about a minute, transmitting telepathic sonic instructions. He then opened his mouth and slowly curled out his tongue, producing a pick which he handed to his new apprentice. As U.G. and Toru held down the groove, the dude attempted a hit. Squeal. Not bad. Seiji yells something at the guy. He’s not pleased. The guy waits for the buildup and then hits another note. Seiji shakes his head. “Jaampoo!!” The guy is confused. He lifts his arm again to hit another note and Seiji stops him. He turns to the audience, whose collective ear can better decipher the order. “JUMP!” we yell. He smiles. Now he understands. He looks at U.G., then at Toru, the buildup begins. Then he looks at Seiji, their eyes locked as he waits for the precise moment. As the music reaches a crescendo he jumps and hits the strings. Jrrrnnn Yes! Again. Jrrrnnn…again… JJrrrnnnn Jrrn Jrrn Jrrn Jrrn as the music gets louder and louder, the guitar is returned to its master and the newly reborn Guitar Pup throws himself headlong into the crowd. BAD. ASS. but it gets better…
During the second encore, Seiji summons the hardier members of the audience up to the stage. Thinking they will be given their own chance to rock, they are surprised when Seiji pulls them down onto their hands and knees. He begins to pull more people from the audience and very quickly it becomes clear with four dudes on the floor that he is planning to make a ten-person Pyramid Wolf! Is this safe? No. Is it awesome? Fuck yes! U.G. and Toru once again hold down a thunderous beat as nine audience members, myself included, climb on top of one another. Mustering all the power of Grayskull, I do my best to bear the weight (I can’t imagine how excruciating it must have been for the guys on the bottom). I hold strong, as do the others, but the first attempt fails as Seiji tries for the top and we collapse, my head crashing into a metal surge protector. Undaunted, Seiji holds his finger aloft and screams, “One more time!” The request is unnecessary as the bottom tier guys have already gotten back down, this time closer together. We all pull into formation quickly and Seiji nimbly carries his boots all the way to the top. The stoic Roadie Wolf hands the mic to Guitar Wolf and he begins to scream to the beat “Hey! hey! hey! hey!” and the audience starts to fist pump in unison before we all come tumbling down.
What is truly transformational about a Guitar Wolf set is not the loudness or the coolness of it all (watch Toru slick back his hair with a comb mid-song), it is more the feeling of community and camaraderie that is encouraged by the band. A Guitar Wolf show is a non-pretentious, all-inclusive, all-out celebration of the spirit of music and a return to the glory, the energy, and the positivity of rock and roll. If you are feeling estranged, flabby, or anemic, get thyself to a Guitar Wolf show! You will emerge renewed and reborn, a member of a pack of lean, sinewy rock n roll animals.