Release Date: Apr 1, 2016
Record label: Good Charamel Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Often compared to the Ramones, it’s at least true to say that, like Da Brudders, the all-female trio from Osaka, Japan, knew when they’d hit on a winning formula and have largely stuck to it for an astonishing 35 years. Mixing up cute vocals and hook-laden bubblegum pop with punk and metal, founding member and singer/guitarist/songwriter Naoko has led Shonen Knife through various line-ups, but for this, the band’s 21st album, and its accompanying 35th anniversary tour, original drummer Atsuko returns – interestingly – on bass. Kurt Cobain was a big fan, and many people know Shonen Knife chiefly for the fact that they supported Nirvana on the Nevermind tour, but more important is their fiercely independent DIY spirit.
In celebration of their 35th anniversary, Japanese bubblegum-punk veterans Shonen Knife released their 20th album, Adventure. As the title -- and first single "Jump Into the New World" -- suggests, the band has a wide-eyed view toward the future, with a new(-ish) lineup and revitalized energy. Founding drummer-turned-bassist Atsuko Yamano returned to the fold, joining her sister Naoko and new drummer Risa Kawano, a lifelong fan of the band.
Babymetal’s cutesy, gabba-gabba Godmamas. I once saw Kurt Cobain talking to Shonen Knife in a hotel lobby. He looked happy, like a big kid. And since Nirvana helped to promote the trio’s career, millions of people have shared that happiness..
It’s been a long and strange road for Shonen Knife. Beginning in Osaka, Japan over 30 years ago, they paved their own way through the underground scene, were championed by alt-rock royalty in the ’90s, and refreshed things with line-up changes at the dawning of the new century. But the fundamental package remains pretty much the same as ever; a buoyant concoction of ’60s girl group pop, proto punk, motown and metal, delivered in a stripped-down power trio format.
Shonen Knife, by strength of statistics alone, have earned their legendary status ten times over. The revolutionary Osaka punk band are celebrating their 35th year with their 19th studio album; how’s that for longevity? What’s more, 2016’s Adventure welcomes the return of original drummer Atsuko Yamano after many different incarnations of the three piece – although she’s swapped her sticks for some hard-hitting bass lines. Strap in for ten tracks of straightforward rockin’ elevated by inventive, playful riffs and typically whimsical lyrics; only Shonen Knife could write a madly catchy ode to 'hot hot wasabi' or illustrate a track titled Dog Fight with 'bow-wow' back-up vocals...