Happy! Candy! Fun! Shonen Knife's Rock Euphoria Returns (video)

by Eleanore Catolico

28 August 2009


Your favorite Japanese-all female-banana chip lovin’-pop punk trio is back. With new bassist Ritsuko Taneda added to the lineup, alongside lead/guitar Naoko Yamano and drummer Etsuko Nakanishi, Shonen Knife has released their new album Super Group on Good Charamel Records this past Tuesday, August 25th. On the album’s cover, the ladies look like an amalgamation of Charlie’s Angels and the Powder Puff Girls bordered by neon prism configurations, pretty, all grown up, and in fact, super.

Continuing their oeuvre of childhood fantasia as well as quantifying cute, Shonen Knife keep alive the cheery minimalist instrumentation and lyrics that made Kurt Cobain an admirer of the band in the ‘90s. With beyond adorable verses sung in Naoko’s signature cadence, “The super group is perfect / Masters of rock music / Make fantastic sound / Waiting for the tour / They’re going to come and play in my town” my inner hello kitty anima is reborn. For that matter, whose wouldn’t be?
The album includes ten delicious tracks including, the heavier “Muddy Bubbles Hell” and a cover of Paul McCartney’s “Jet”. Even though Shonen Knife may seem like an anomaly in the current hipster paradigm, the band nevertheless generates the energetic pop punk sound that brought them on everyone’s radar in the first place. What appears to be calculated naiveté is not, and is instead a brand of music that is truly the happy-happy-joy-joy axiom incarnate.

Shonen Knife’s sound of happy philosophy has turned off several cynics, but in a pop music landscape becoming ever more fragmented, and dare I say, postmodern, the Shonen Knife discography evolves from being merely a venture in escapism: the music acts as the guardian of an innocent way of thinking in itself. Shonen Knife answers doubters through addictive, undeniable pop rock. While shuffling through the blogs about Shonen Knife in cyberspace, one genius out there made a remark that Shonen Knife used to be cool. Guess what, buddy. They Still Are. Check out the puppet show/tomato love fest that is the new video for the first single off Super Group entitled “Super Group”.

Shonen Knife
Super Group
(Good Charamel)
Releasing: 25 August 2009 (US)

01 “Super Group”
02 “Slug”
03 “Muddy Bubbles Hell”
04 “Deer Biscuits”
05 “BBQ Party”
06 “Pyramid Power”
07 “Time Warp”
08 “NaNaNa”
09 “Your Guitar”
10 “Jet”
11 “Evil Birds” (bonus track)

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