Photos: Guitar Wolf at the Marquis Theater in Denver (review) - Reverb

Guitar Wolf at the Marquis Theater, 10-6-13 (photos, review)

Guitar Wolf‘s Seiji bashed his guitar around his body and the stage of the Marquis Theater on Sunday. He used it as a bat to hit balls into the small moshing crowd and continuously coaxed some gorgeous distortion from the seemingly indestructible instrument. Covered with enough sweat that he looked fresh out of a swimming pool, he set his axe down at one point to jump onto the willing crowd and was passed back to the stage, never letting up in his signature wolf howl.

But even with Seiji’s antics, this would be considered a rather tame show in Guitar Wolf terms. Either way, the band brought just enough punk rock to make it still worth the inevitable damage to the eardrums. For an hour, the Tokyo trio pounded out non-stop noise the Ramones circa 1976 would be proud of — fast, simple and loud as a jet engine (especially bouncing around the smallish room).

Bassist U.G. (aka Bass Wolf) and drummer Toru (aka Drum Wolf) kept the sonic juggernaut strong, exploding behind and between feedback and filling out the jet engine noise.

They made their brand of psycho-punk look thrilling, and its sheer volume dug under the audience’s clothes and rattled the skin. Seiji played fast and loud enough that sloppy stringwork looked purposeful or at least irrelevant. Melody, song structure, anything but rhythm was essentially nonexistent, leaving not much more than chaos on and off the stage. It even started to get a little old by the time the trio returned for an encore.

Short, violent and noisy — that’s it. And that’s just the way a Guitar Wolf show should be.

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Billy Thieme is a Denver-based writer, an old-school punk and a huge follower of Denver’s vibrant local music scene. Follow Billy’s explorations at DenverThread.com, and his giglist at Gigbot.

Michael McGrath is a Denver area photographer. His work is available at Twist and Shout Records. Visit his website.