I'd just read Achewood: The Great Outdoor Fight not long before, and so when I saw this book tagged "Achewood, Volume 2," I naturally assumed The GOF was "Volume 1" and this was next in some kind of sequence. Turns out it isn't. In fact, "Worst Song, Played on Ugliest Guitar" is the second in a series of Achewood compilations that has been available in somewhat different format on the webcomic's site for some time. As you'd expect from the second compilation in a series that's now up to Vol. IX at least, the strips here collected are pretty old. In fact, Chris Onstad, the writer and artist, describes some of these strips as "Before We Were Achewood -- The Early Experiments," adding, "I consider the introduction of Ray, Beef, and Pat the real ignition of the 'Achewood' engine (p. 94)."
Still, for me, what makes "Worst Song..." a great book isn't so much the cartoons as the additional material Onstad has packed this book with. As the dialogue and story arc of "The GOF" demonstrated (at least to me), Onstad's great strength is as a writer. The stories-slash-profiles of the early Achewood characters are very well-written in a slangy, hard-boiled sort of way, revealing, and darn entertaining. So too the commentary on individual strips, of which there's quite a bit. Tell me there's more of that in the other viii volumes, and I'll put them on my wish list too.
Since this isn't one sustained story, "Worst Song..." was, for me, slightly less awesome than "The Great Outdoor Fight." But the writing, even more than the cartoons, still makes this pretty awesome in its own way.