Guitar Wolf

Fuck the Strokes, fuck the Hives, and fuck every other slicked-out overhyped rock band on the planet. If you want real rock and roll, the kind that makes you wanna get all hopped up on booze and dangerous amounts of adrenaline and run around like a maniac bringing glorious chaos to everything in sight, then Guitar Wolf is your band. As they point out, "rock never forgives," and they're clearly on this planet to destroy everything that's uncool and boring about music these days.

While UFO Romantics, the Japanese trio's last record, was a little light on the distortion, Love Rock pierces your eardrums until they ooze sweet red kroovy. Beautiful bursts of squealing feedback, pulsating drums and a bass that roars like a revved-up Kawasaki ZII 750 mesh together to create an intoxicating sonic concoction that will revitalize your faith in music. Singer-guitarist Seiji kicks out the jams hard and fast, with little regard for technical prowess, which, in this era of rock, is totally refreshing. It's a wonderful thing that Guitar Wolf couldn't care less if they're hitting the proper chord or tuning their instruments correctly, because what counts here is the pure, fiery passion and atomic explosion of rock and roll adoration. Like the band likes to say, "Stronger than ever, loud as fuck, Guitar Wolf just wanna rock." And boy howdy do they succeed! This is, hands down, the best rock and roll record of 2004.