Overdrive – out 14 April 2014 on Damnably –
1. Bad Luck Song
2. Black Crow
3. Dance To The Rock
4. Ramen Rock
6. Fortune Cookie
7. Like A Cat
8. Green Tea
9. Robots from Hell
10. Jet shot
What about this new album then?
All female Japanese cult trio Shonen Knife return with ‘Overdrive’, their 20th album in 33 years. Released on Damnably in the UK/Europe on CD, Vinyl & Digital.
What do you need to know about this record?
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)
Shonen Knife MBV ‘When You Sleep’ :
What does it sound like?
“The concept is 1970’s 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.
Tonally it’s pure, with few guitar effect pedals, no synthesizers or pro tools used, just guitar directly plugged into a cranked up amp and for variety of sound they’ve used 10 guitars, 2 basses 3 amps and 3 snare drums. Head banging is back at Camp Knife and so is heavy metal ‘Shopping’!
‘Bad Luck Song’ questions eastern superstition and suggests even a bad luck song can become a good luck one with a positive thinking. ‘Black Crow’ is an angry cry against bird caused sleep deprivation. ‘Robot’s from Hell’ is a serious take on our technology obsessed civilisation “invisible to the eye, sneaking around your mind, here comes the robots from the Darkness, they are man-made invaders”.
Head banging Bassist Ritsuko exposes her love of post gig noodles in ‘Ramen Rock’ “I’m gonna tell you my favourite food, it’s perfect after the show…”Rock & Roll, do my best, Rock & Roll, hot and sweat, standing at the top with my hair dance” Caffeine-free super drummer Emi sings an infectious ode to ‘Green Tea’ and Green Tea flavoured foods. Naoko incorporates her love of Tennis on ‘Jet Shot’, adds a new Cat song to the cannon with ‘Like A Cat’, and fulfils the food song quota with ‘Fortune Cookie’.
Who are Shonen Knife?
“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 a 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!”
“Rocks like Motorhead designed by Hanna-Barbara” Uncut
“Ultimately, without using superlatives, Shonen Knife should be set up for life as ambassadors for live music.” Clash Music
“There are two types of people: those who enjoy thrashy Japanese girl-punk, and those who have something wrong with them.” The Independent On Sunday
“Shonen Knife’s gloriously infectious buzzsaw rock & roll remains firmly in place to charm the pants off even the most of cynical and hardened of churls.” The Quietus
“The Osaka Ramones, you must concede, still have it.” BBC Music
“Always charming, always exhilarating… simply perfect pop.” The Fly
“For an incredible 31 years Shonen Knife have been pumping out prototype riot grrrl, thrashing together early punk sounds with pop melodies.” Music OMH
“Irrepressible slice of bounce-along indie-pop. Beguiling.” The Sunday Times
“Shonen Knife – they know how to rock – Japanese punk pop at its best.” BBC 6Music (Steve Lamacq)
“brilliantly bonkers” Subba-cultcha
‘Overdrive’ UK&Eire Tour 2014
Apr 30 : Manchester – Ruby Lounge
May 1 : Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
May 3 : Leicester – Handmade Festival
May 6 : Dublin – Whelans
May 7 : Limerick – Dolans
May 8 : Cork – Crane Lane Theatre
May 9 : Belfast – Cathedral Quarter Festival
May 10 : Glasgow – CCA
May 11 : Edinburgh – Electric Circus
May 12 : Newcastle – Cluny
May 14 : Bristol – The Fleece
May 15 : Cardiff- Clwb Ifor Bach
May 16 : Brighton- Sticky Mikes Frog Bar
May 17 : Milton Keynes- The Craufurd Arms
May 18 : London – Dingwalls