Shonen Knife, Free Time

Long time fans will be relieved to know lead singer Naoko’s English accent remains unchanged: just the right side of comprehensible but occasionally straying into that weird place where the hard Japanese consonants fade into vowels already mushier than a heartbroken Michael Bolton whereupon it all becomes a glorious balm for the ears. My copy of the CD booklet even contains the word ‘lSuxury’ and I’m not so sure it’s a misprint.
Subject matter is as wacky as ever: jellyfish, stationary and a lost guitar all feature as does a gem of a song about South American rodent beastie the Capybara: “roly-poly body shape/swimming very well”. Shonen Knife don’t do depth but they do literal like no other.
Shonen Knife are often said to be a cure for the blues and this album is no exception but they can do angry too. “Economic Crisis” is as close to venting spleen you’ll ever get from the Japanese. “Where’s the missing money?” cries Naoko in vain. Many will concur with the sentiment.

Long time fans will be relieved to know lead singer Naoko’s English accent remains unchanged: just the right side of comprehensible but occasionally straying into that weird place where the hard Japanese consonants fade into vowels already mushier than a heartbroken Michael Bolton whereupon it all becomes a glorious balm for the ears. My copy of the CD booklet even contains the word ‘lSuxury’ and I’m not so sure it’s a misprint.

Subject matter is as wacky as ever: jellyfish, stationery and a lost guitar all feature as does a gem of a song about South American rodent beastie the Capybara: “roly-poly body shape/swimming very well”. Shonen Knife don’t do depth but they do literal like no other.

freetime-uk

Shonen Knife are often said to be a cure for the blues and this album is no exception but they can do angry too. “Economic Crisis” is as close to venting spleen you’ll ever get from the Japanese.  “Where’s the missing money?” cries Naoko in vain. Many will concur with the sentiment.

This review appears in London Tour Dates issue 74:

ltdcover074

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