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Shonen Knife - Adventure

  by Erick Mertz

published: 30 / 5 / 2016

Shonen Knife - Adventure
Label: Damnably
Format: CD


Enjoyable and entertaining latest album from Japanese garage rock trio, Shonen Knife

The girls from Shonen Knife are back with another record, 'Adventure' - ten songs that fit in perfectly with their career discography that has spanned almost twenty releases. This is the band that charmed America with songs like 'Public Bath' while on tour at Lollapalooza, insinuated themselves on the American public as a kind of off-beat riff on Christmas songs, BMX, Beavis & Butthead and of course, the Carpenters. Not bad. Oh, and they became Kurt Cobain’s favorite band, touring in support of 'Nevermind'. Although Shonen Knife has formed the late career laugh lines, they’re still a fun-filled delight, someone you can chuckle at and sing along too. While some might dismiss the pint-sized, Japanese trio’s broken English lyrics and Motown grooves as a novelty act, longevity clearly defies that pigeonhole. Naoko Yamano lays out killer guitar riffs and her voice, although tending toward cliché, has a characteristic sneer that gives an ironic twist to hard rocking 'Rock And Roll T-Shirt' and a bite to 'Dog Fight' that after so many spins, never gets old. It’s hard not to be charmed by tracks like the swooning 'Green Tangerine' which repeats the chorus “tiny green tangerine/happy fruit for you” in a bittersweet song about not being able to know the future. It’s that type of contrast that makes Shonen Knife work, the ability to gleefully twist on expectation. 'Adventure' isn’t a classic by any stretch of the definition, but it’s among their best efforts since 2009’s 'Super Group' or 'Free Time' a year later. There are a few predictable lead weights at the end of the disc ('Tasmanian Devil') and a Motorhead pastiche in 'ImI' which feels a little thin but on repeat, it’s a solid, enjoyable listening harkening back to when rock was genuinely breaking out of its mould and could attain freshness.

Track Listing:-
1 Jump into the New World
2 Rock'n'roll T-Shirt
3 Calabash
4 Dog Fight
5 Wasabi
6 Green Tangerine
7 Iml
8 Hawaii
9 Tasmanian Devil
10 Cotton Candy Clouds

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Interview (2011)
Shonen Knife - Interview
Jamie Rowland speaks to Naoko Yamano, the guitarist/vocalist and founding member Naoko Yamano with Japanese punks about their thirty years together, and the effect of the Ramones on their work

live reviews

Ruby Lounge, Manchester, 30/4/2014
Shonen Knife - Ruby Lounge, Manchester, 30/4/2014
Nicky Crewe misses most of Shonen Knife's gig at the Ruby Lounge in Manchester due to their late stage arrival, but feels that it was better to have seen some of the Tokyo all girl punk trio's set rather than nothing at all
Musician, Leicester, 7/9/2012
Babylon, Ottawa, 11/3/2005


Photoscapes (2023)
Shonen Knife - Photoscapes
Rob Hadley photographs Japanese pop-punk trio Shonen Knife at a gig on their 40th Anniversary Tour at The Hare and Hounds in Birmingham.


Pop Tune (2012)
Fantastic harmonic punk pop on eighteenth album from Japanese band, Shonen Knife
Free Time (2011)
Super Group (2010)

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