[Concert Review] GUITAR WOLF (2017)

Guitar Wolf are fearless! They prove that if you pour work hard and sweat into your labors, you can achieve success on your terms. Though not selling out a 27,500-person capacity venue, selling out an intimate 200-person capacity venue that “normally doesn’t sell out on a weekday” is still an achievement, especially for their anti-conformist take on garage rock! If you can embrace their abrasive noise, they might be the best teachers of fearless motivation.

Mommy Long Legs
Fun Seattle riot grrrl band that stylistically matches Guitar Wolf. With more distinct melodies and choruses, they could reinvigorate the genre that, more than grunge, should resurge into pop culture.
Rating: ★★★☆☆ [3/5]

Isaac Rother & the Phantoms
Theatrical surf rock? Rother’s strongest asset might actually be the bassist, keeping the pace light and consistent throughout an airy future-retro performance of easily followable melodies. Just needs more vigor.
Rating: ★★★★☆ [4/5]

GUITAR WOLF!!!!!!
Guitar Wolf aren’t inspirational for their lyrics or musicianship. Rather, it’s the fearless and nearly infinite amount of effort they give to each studio recording or live performance that stands out among any other band. Other bands might include motivational lyrics or more pleasant melodies. That’s fine. Not every band should be able to shake you to your core! Nor will most other bands encourage you to overcome your fears of running out of energy.

Guitar Wolf’s vigorous noise, accenting traditional punk and rockabilly, might be the reason why they’re so motivational. They’re impossible to ignore! Seeing Guitar Wolf live, both here and at Seattle’s 550-person capacity Chop Suey in 2013, was like an active meditation in facing every indecisive moment head-on. They envelop you in a nearly claustrophobic sound while guiding you along with such infectious energy that you can’t help feeling motivated to do what you need to do.

There’s also a certain anti-authority aspect to Guitar Wolf that makes them inspirational. They could remove their guitar noise to widen their audience. Would they still be the same band after compromising their sound to be more accessible? Probably not! Their music is like a reminder that you can be autonomous in your field(s) of interest and find some success. Maybe not selling out amphitheaters. If that’s not your focus, why do it? Be yourself!

It takes fearlessness to sell your music strictly on kinetic, high-energy performances. That might be another source of inspiration in seeing Guitar Wolf live. It’s the level of physicality they exude where they give it their all every time. They can’t have a bad night. They can’t give half effort because they’re sick or tired. If they were to give anything less than their absolute all, the audience would notice, like hitting a wrong note.

All told, Guitar Wolf are not for everyone.

Just like there are people who prefer to do nothing productive with their free time, it takes effort to listen to Guitar Wolf. They’re not for the easily discouraged. Yet the rewards are discovering your inner fearless motivation.

In a sense, Guitar Wolf are life-changing.

Rating: ★★★★★ [6/5]

My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write “The Story.” My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I’m a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let’s strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)