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UFO Romantics

Guitar Wolf

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Album Review

Guitar Wolf returns with UFO Romantics, another collection of their speaker-igniting garage/punk/shockabilly insanity. As with their previous work, this album features fantastically titled workouts like "After School Thunder" and "Fire Ball Red," both of which feature pummeling riffs and throat-shredding vocals courtesy of guitar wolf Seiji; and several songs move along at a breathless clip, particularly the fast-and-loud homage to "Taxi Driver," which borders on hardcore, but many of UFO Romantics best moments come when the band slows down and develops a groove instead of driving their songs into the ground. Of course, slow is a relative term when it comes to a band like Guitar Wolf; songs like "Sparkle Baby," the excellently named "Zaaa Zaaa Asphalt" and the title track have an almost Stones-y strut; "Nagasaki Jet" adds a blues-inspired progression and some impressive guitar work to the mix, while "Diamond Honey" shows off Guitar Wolf's rockabilly side. For the most part, though, UFO Romantics showcases the band doing what they do best: cranking out lots of high-octane, rough-around-the-edges punk. "Gion Midnite," "Jett Beer," and "Lightning's Melody" are perfect examples, and while UFO Romantics may be one of the band's more polished efforts, it's still raw enough to satisfy longtime fans.


Formed: 1987

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Tokyo's Guitar Wolf plays loud, fast, dirty punk rock. The trio — which consists of guitarist Seiji, bassist Billy, and drummer Toru — formed in the late '80s. Though the group's first two albums were released only in Japan, imports of the records and word of mouth about Guitar Wolf's incendiary live shows secured U.S. distribution for their next two releases, Wolf Rock and Kung Fu Ramone. An in-store performance at a New York record store impressed Matador Records enough to offer them...
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UFO Romantics, Guitar Wolf
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