Album Review: Shonen Knife - Sweet Candy Power

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SHONEN KNIFE

Sweet Candy Power

Good Charamel Records

 

 

 

There’s longevity in the music business, and then there’s Japanese act Shonen Knife. The 3-piece, female pop-punkers have been giving us their brand of punk rock music for nearly 40 years and continue to do so with their latest 10-song/32-minute album Sweet Candy Power. Led by frontwoman Naoko Yamano, the trio instantly pulls you into their signature Ramones inspired bubblegum pop-punk as they open the album with the ultra-catchy “Party.” As you press ahead, just as the title suggests, you run across several tracks that have to do with candy and sweets – “Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches,” “Peppermint Attack,” and the title track, “Sweet Candy Power.” While they stick to their guns for the most part, they also showcase their depth and the fact that they’re not just about run of the mill, pop tilted flavorings. “My Independent Country” begs to be compared to the signature style of the late 1970’s UK punk scene, “Dizzy” leans on a clap along rhythm to pull you in, and songs such as “Wave Rock” and “California Lemon Trees” tug on the edges of a surf vibe that transports you back to the sand and surf sound of the early 1960’s rock and roll ala The Beach Boys or Jan & Dean. Whereas many acts who have had this type of career tend to get tired or dull over time, Shonen Knife only seems to get that much better the more that they craft their signature sound by adding slightly new, exciting touches to it. Sweet Candy Power showcases a band that is 100% unapologetic of who they are. There’s no grey area with Shonen Knife; you’ll either love it or hate it, but then again, aren’t those the same words that were once said about The Ramones; and look at their career longevity.

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