What about this new album then?
All female Japanese cult trio Shonen Knife return with
‘Overdrive’, their 20th album in 33 years. Released on
Damnably in the UK/Europe on CD, Vinyl & Digital.
What do you need to know about this record?
This new long-player features ten original songs produced by
Naoko and manager Atsushi, recorded by Ippei Suda
(Afrirampo/Balzac) Yotsubashi at LM studio Osaka, and
mastered by Koichi Hara (Afrirampo/OOIOO/Boredoms). The
UK and European release features special lime green/purple
artwork by Masahiko Ohno (Solmania)
What does it sound like?
“The concept is 1970's rock and hard rock which is the Golden
Years of Rock'n'roll. This album is the harder, 1970's sound.” Not
so much a retro album but Naoko harking back to her love of the
rock she grew up on, namely: Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Bad
Company & Deep Purple. It’s a warm overdriven abrasive sound
filled with doubled harmonic solos, dissonant power chords,
menacing bass and thunderous drum rolls. In the past the band
have ventured into hard rock on Mongoose vs Cobra, Antonio Baka
Guy and more recently Pyramid Power & Economic Crisis but this
is the first time they’ve dedicated a whole album to heavy rock.
Tonally it’s pure, with few guitar effect pedals, no synthesizers or
pro tools used, just guitar directly plugged into a cranked up amp
and for variety of sound they’ve used 10 guitars, 2 basses 3 amps
and 3 snare drums. Head banging is back at Camp Knife and so is
heavy metal ‘Shopping’!
‘Bad Luck Song’ questions eastern superstition and suggests even
a bad luck song can become a good luck one with a positive
thinking. ‘Black Crow’ is an angry cry against bird caused sleep
deprivation. ‘Robot’s from Hell’ is a serious take on our technology
obsessed civilisation “invisible to the eye, sneaking around your
mind, here comes the robots from the Darkness, they are manmade
Head banging Bassist Ritsuko exposes her love of post gig noodles
in ‘Ramen Rock’ “I’m gonna tell you my favourite food, it’s perfect
after the show...”Rock & Roll, do my best, Rock & Roll, hot and
sweat, standing at the top with my hair dance” Caffeine-free super
drummer Emi sings an infectious ode to ‘Green Tea’ and Green
Tea flavoured foods. Naoko incorporates her love of Tennis on ‘Jet
Shot’, adds a new Cat song to the cannon with ‘Like A Cat’, and
fulfils the food song quota with ‘Fortune Cookie’.
Who are Shonen Knife?
“When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a
hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert.” -Kurt Cobain
Formed in Osaka by guitarist and chief songwriter Naoko in 1981,
Japan’s Shonen Knife rose from humble DIY beginnings crafting their
own idiosyncratic songs, and fashioning their own brightly coloured
outfits, to touring with Nirvana on their ‘Nevermind’ tour, trailblazing a
path for women in music and inspiring legions of bands.
Championed by Nirvana, Sonic Youth and hailed as a favourite by the
crème-de-la-crème of Alternative Rock, Shonen Knife remain one of the
most influential and beloved of Japanese rock exports.
Live, they are a tight with machine-precision, punching out fast, highly
exciting sets of Punk, Pop, Rock & Metal hits, all coated with their own
distinctively quirky and life-affirming charm. As they fast approach their
1,000th gig, Shonen Knife's joy and invention shows no sign of fading.
As Naoko says, “Let's Rock!”
“Rocks like Motorhead designed by Hanna-Barbara” Uncut
“Ultimately, without using superlatives, Shonen Knife should be set up
for life as ambassadors for live music.” Clash Music
“There are two types of people: those who enjoy thrashy Japanese girlpunk,
and those who have something wrong with them.” The
Independent On Sunday
“Shonen Knife's gloriously infectious buzzsaw rock & roll remains firmly
in place to charm the pants off even the most of cynical and hardened
of churls.” The Quietus
“The Osaka Ramones, you must concede, still have it.” BBC Music
“Always charming, always exhilarating... simply perfect pop.” The Fly
“For an incredible 31 years Shonen Knife have been pumping out
prototype riot grrrl, thrashing together early punk sounds with pop
melodies.” Music OMH
“Irrepressible slice of bounce-along indie-pop. Beguiling.” The Sunday
“Shonen Knife - they know how to rock - Japanese punk pop at its best.”
BBC 6Music (Steve Lamacq)
“brilliantly bonkers” Subba-cultcha
i love how punk is taking new approaches all around the globe. more about the attitude again. this surely is one to shine out.
truly, an entertaining way to scream out "fuck supressive machoism!" - like it. Rüdiger Jay