Shonen Knife - Super Group
Owain Paciuszko 27/06/2010
Sometimes a record comes along and it just stumps you, not particularly in a mind-blowing way, just in a fashion where you're left unsure what there really is to say about it. Shonen Knife's latest LP is just such a record, and unfortunatley after weeks of listening and re-listening there's still very little I have to say about it.
Sure the riffs are memorable, but they sound like imitations of riffs heard a million times before, and the group's enthusiasm for their songs sounds like the enthusiasm of a young kid learning to play the guitar who thinks he's got a pretty good bead on playing some surf-pop classics, and, yes, whilst he knows all the chords, there's no personality applied to his by-the-songbook rendition. What we have here is an album of original songs that sounds like an album of covers.
There is an actual cover tucked up alongside the originals, and that's Jet originally by Wings, here it comes out sounding like Blondie. Elsewhere somehow the purported influence of Black Sabbath has found Naoka Yamano and co. winding up reminiscent of a 50s girl-pop group with distortion pedals.
The songs on the record aren't particularly duff, with tracks like Time Warp having a fun dreamy quality, but there's little excitement either contained within the songs or infecting the listener. But, considering this is album number fifteen it's not exactly a surprise to see the occasional creative drought.