Shonen Knife: Free Time (P-Vine)

16 albums and almost 30 years, and JUICE is still on to them! Although only one original Knife remains (singer/guitarist Naoko Yamano), Free Time is probably their best work to date since 1992’s breakout Let’s Knife. Not sounding a day older, the veteran grrl trio have revitalised their usual powerpuff punk formula with flower pop melodies and Buzzcock hooks. Naoko sings in both Japanese and English but it’s just plain fun trying to figure out what she’s going on about. Case in point, the ‘Old McDonald’ ho down ‘PYO (Pick Your Own)’ which is about, you guessed it, picking berries and has an equally silly chorus: “Cranberry / Strawberry / Brooberry / Brackberry/ Chuck Berry!” Aside from the 5-min Bad Religion scream-fest ‘Economy Crisis’, it’s the more subtle tracks like Beatles-que ‘An Old Stationary Shop’ and ‘Love Song’ that grab you. Listen to this album as see why we consider them the living-Ramones of Asia!

LISTEN TO: ‘Rock N Roll Cake’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: The Buzzcocks, The Ramones, The 5,6,7,8s

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