Album Review – Shonen Knife


Shonen Knife -‘Free Time (Damnably)

This is, in fact, ver Knife’s fifteenth album. Having always admired what bits I got to hear (and I still play my 12″ single of ‘Riding On The Rocket’ nineteen years later), by the end of the opening track ‘Perfect Freedom’ I want to own the other fourteen…

Japanese three-piece Shonen Knife first formed in Osaka back in 1981. Despite numerous line-up changes over the years, they have gone on to gain numerous famous fans (Kurt Cobain and John Peel, to name but two) and mastered their own brand of Ramones-inspired indie punk pop brilliance. This album is a non-stop load of sheer energy.

The afore-mentioned ‘Perfect Freedom’ sets the tone brillaintly. There are two songs inspired by food -‘PYO’ was inspired after they visited a pick-your-own farm in Sussex, England; while ‘Rock’n’Roll Cake’ seems to be about just that. ‘Rolled Cake, I want to sleep in it…like hibernation.’ OK!

It is delightfully noisy and – in the best possible way – the aural equivalent of being fed too much tartrazine and sugar when only other people have to suffer the side effects.

I’m looking forward to their Edinburgh gig very much indeed…


Free time is out on July 11 on Damnably.

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