Shonen Knife | Super Group (Good Charamel Records)

shonenknife-supergroup.jpgShonen Knife’s bubblegum punk attack is still very much in full effect from the get-go.






They may be closing in on their 30th year as a band, but despite cleaner production, all-English lyrics, and a new-ish rhythm section, remarkably little has changed between Shonen Knife’s 1983 debut and this, the Japanese all-girl power trio’s 14th studio album. Shonen Knife’s bubblegum punk attack is still very much in full effect from the get-go on Super Group, with the speedy, bass-driven title track and the buzzsaw guitar and disco drums of "Slug" starting the album off in style.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist/only-remaining-founding-member Naoko Yamano is still writing quintessential Shonen Knife songs like "BBQ Party," a Ramones-y bit of pop punk that’s all bopping guitars and good-time vibes. She’s also not afraid to fiddle with the formula, but whether it’s the country bounce of "Deer Biscuits," the psychedelic swirl of the guitars of "Time Warp," the dark and Danzig-esque crunch of "Muddy Bubbles Hell," or the mid-tempo Lemonheads-ian shamble of "Na Na Na," the results are still the same goofy, giddy fun the band usually provides. What this means, of course, is that this album is much more likely to be another pleasant addition to the collection of longtime fans than a revelation to newcomers, but it’s hard to imagine anyone listening to the Knife give the Paul McCartney & Wings classic "Jet" the power trio treatment and not walking away from this album smiling. B | Jason Green




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