shonen knife Overdrive (LP, £13.95)label: Damnably
"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 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!" All female Japanese cult trio Shonen Knife return with ‘Overdrive’, their 20th album in 33 years. 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). "The concept is 1970s 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.
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