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I Love Guitar Wolf Very Much (Narnack)

Unless you unceasingly don sunglasses, jeans, and a black leather jacket, and have ditched your surname in favor of "Wolf," chances are you aren't a fanatic of Japanese garage-punk trio Guitar Wolf. Obsessives insist on owning all eight of the band's high-octane, bash-'n'-scream recordings; for everyone else, one of them -- any one of them, really -- is more than enough. All of the discs share a frenzied pace and shoestring production values.

But devotees and dabblers alike can find common ground with I Love Guitar Wolf Very Much, on which, in the wake of the death of Guitar Wolf bassist Billy, a who's who of rock artists reinterprets 10 of the band's originals. Rhode Island duo Lightning Bolt pulverizes "Planet of the Wolves." J. Mascis decorates "Cyborg Kids" with falsetto and shredelicious solo graffiti. Japanese-pop darling Puffy AmiYumi takes "Can-Nana Fever" to the tropics with spicy percussion, organ, and girl-girl-shrieks. Brit-punk act Snuff gives "Jet Generation" a raucous Fat Wreck Chords makeover. The tribute runs aground a few times -- Jim O'Rourke's cover of "Kaminari One" barely deviates from the original, for instance -- but otherwise, it's a choice reexamination of a blistering one-trick band.

More by Ray Cummings

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