Thursday, October 05, 2006


Thanks to the generosity of a visiting member of the Stoke Newington Jet Set who was recently passing through Prague, ostensibly for the occasion of the ludicrously exorbitant Nick Cave sans Bad Seeds gig (at almost 50 quid a go, who do you think you are Nick, Madonna?), I am now in the possession of the DVD film of WILD ZERO. This was pleasing regardless of the film itself, since it provided a kind of symmetry, reaffirming the slightly naïve but life-sustaining hypothesis that what goes around comes around – I introduced John to Guitar Wolf when he was over here a few years ago, a few years later he brings me back a copy of their film.

If there is one band over the last ten years or so that has convinced me rock music isn’t dead, then it is Guitar Wolf. Whilst some have settled for tame, indie mediocrity, others have drifted out to the fringes to experiment with post-rock and others still have abandoned rock completely, there is nothing tame, experimental or un-rock about Guitar Wolf. They fucking rock. If you’re not familiar with them yet, think Link Wray, Bo Diddley, Gene Vincent, Elvis at his meanest. Think the Sonics, the Stooges, Johnny Thunders, Motorhead, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Pussy Galore. Lots of screaming. Leather, motorbikes, quiffs and sunglasses after dark. Repeatedly shouting “Baby Baby”. All in Japanese.

Instead of trying to find a way out in order to sound fresh, they’ve gone further in, simply cranking up the volume and the distortion. Less isn’t more. More is more. More shouting, more noise, yes, more clichés. They love it. Perhaps the above-mentioned artists weren’t rock n roll enough for them. Like all of the above they understand that true genius resides in absolute simplicity. There is no sophistication whatsoever here. It’s as predictable as it is majestic, a ferocious three-chord cacophony replete with feedback, the ultimate effect something like a car crash in an abattoir.

As for the film, it’s also more or less exactly what you’d expect. Guitar Wolf himself is in fact not the main character, which is a good idea since his acting is actually pretty wooden, but there is no doubt throughout the film that he’s the man. Along with Bass Wolf and Drum Wolf he spends most of his time looking cool, none of them ever once taking their shades off. A man of few words, most of them the frequently repeated catchphrase “LOCK N LORRRLLL!” Probably the stupidest film I’ve ever seen, though with a rather unexpected politically correct twist about how it’s really quite acceptable and rock n roll to fall in love with a hermaphrodite. The defining moment of the film comes when the great man, standing on a burnt-out skyscraper, whips out a Samurai sword from his ever-present guitar and uses it to disembowel a descending spaceship, by which he saves the world from invading alien vampire cannibal zombies. Obvious really. Sorry if I’ve spoilt it for you, but believe me, this is a film you’re never going to watch for the plot.

Apparently they want to make a sequel. Fantastic.

Thanks to John, not only for the DVD, but I suspect I’ve also slightly plagiarised an e-mail he sent me a while ago describing the spaceship episode.


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