Shonen Knife: Overdrive – album review

Shonen Knife – Overdrive (Damnably)


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Osaka’s best girl band Shonen Knife released their new album in April, Louder Than War’s Adrian Bloxham has been enjoying the Rock!

Simple. That’s what you need, just simple. Rock’n’Roll isn’t complicated, it’s not clever, it’s dumb, quick and easy. Shonen Knife’s Facebook description is just ‘Rock!’ and that sums this all up in one perfect word. Shonen Knife have been rocking since 1981 when they burst out of Osaka in a flurry of dayglo, Ramones riffs and cuteness. They haven’t stopped since.

This is very seventies rock sounding. Big riffs, solid as a rock drums and bass and that wonderful Shonen vocal, still rooted in girl band heaven and Punk Rock dumbness. They manage to both sound shy and give the impression that they are grinning their heads off while singing.


I saw them once, at Reading festival during their fifteen minutes of fame in the music press when Kurt proclaimed them his favourite band. They were one of the highlights of a muddy grey weekend. Their sound is still much the same but that doesn’t stop this being a great record.

So, think of reading Classic Rock magazine while listening to the Shangri-Las, forget complicated and forget life changing, this is a Shonen Knife album. Sometimes you need nothing else.


Shonen Knife’s website is here, they are also on Facebook and Naoko tweets as @ShonenKnife.

All words by Adrian Bloxham. More work by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here.

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