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Ever Heard of Shonen Knife? Me Neither

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Shonen Knife. I like the name, never heard of the band until now. It turns out they are a pop punk band from Japan that formed way back in 1981. Of course, there is only one original member, but they have consistently released music since their 1982 debut. All told, they have 16 albums out and are poised to release their 17th.

What makes this new album special? It will be the first one released in English. The album is called Free Time and the lead single is “Perfect Freedom.”

Punk is not generally my speed. Pop punk? Forget it. Sure, there are exceptions like the Ramones, Misfits, and Dookie-era Green Day come to mind. Now, all-girl Japanese pop-punk? Consider me not interested.

Enter Shonen Knife and “Perfect Freedom.” This tune is eminently catchy, infectious, bouncy, and just plain fun. From the simple drum beat to the guitars to the vocals, this just makes you want to jump around like a little girl.

Consider this quote included with the press materials: “When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert.” — Kurt Cobain discussing Shonen Knife in Rolling Stone

Give the video a gander, I suspect you’ll find yourself bouncing to it too:


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About Draven99

  • Jordan Richardson

    Yes indeed, these grrrls can throw down. So good.

  • http://criticaloutcast.com Chris Beaumont

    I am definitely going to have to look up some more of their stuff.

  • Rokusaburo

    Chris – most of their albums have been cut in English and Japanese versions. Doesn’t take a huge amount of research to figure that one out either.

  • John

    YES! ABSOLUTELY, I have heard of Shonen Knife. Even my mother has heard of Shonen Knife. The Ramones spoke of Shonen Knife. Nirvana talked them up. Shonen Knife has been making music longer than both those combined. Bands have made tribute albums to Shonen Knife. Robby Takac of bazillion selling Goo Goo Dolls signed them to his label, even drove their tour van. Shonen Knife has released 16 albums. They have toured the world including extensive tours of the US consistently. Toured with Nirvana. Probably the best known rock band, in the US, from Japan. They have appeared on television worldwide. Played on the radio. Done instores in probably every city imaginable. Thousands of articles written on them. Videos on the internet. There is Shonen Knife dishware for godsake!

    How does one NOT hear of Shonen Knife?????

    Shonen Knife is hardly just an “all-girl Japanese pop-punk” and miles above the made to order “dookie-era” Green Day, which thankfully, shares nothing in common with the music of Shonen Knife. Shonen Knife is incredibly original, despite their love of the Ramones (which necessitates no apologies), so if you answered “yes” to that question….better start catching up, you are only 30 years behind!