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Shonen Knife

ShonenKnifeOverdrive
Valve/MGM

Overdrive finds Japanese trio Shonen Knife shooting for ’70s hard rock glory. As the title forewarns, the guitars are loud and the amps are most certainly Marshalls.

With songs such as Green Tea, Fortune Cookie and Ramen Rock, it appears Shonen Knife are willingly playing to a Japanese stereotype. And given they’re paying tribute to a subculture built on stereotypes (glamorous party animals/drug addicts, busty pinup girls/misogyny), it’s most apt they’ve incorporated their own clichéd interests.

It’s interesting to note Shonen Knife have been churning out albums since the early ’80s, and this marks a departure from their usual vintage pop-punk shtick. The genre tribute and lyrical humour nominates it as a Japanese Spinal Tap spin-off. Yet, while Spinal Tap’s tunes are listenable for the comedic kicks, not many stand up as enduring rock songs. Overdrive, on the other hand, deposits genuine excitement.

It’s gag-filled and lacking any emotional depth, but since when was that a worry? Overdrive deserves to played damn loud with green tea soft serve smeared all over your headbanging face.

AUGUSTUS WELBY

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