10 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For 2014’s Overdrive, Shonen Knife do as many punk-pop bands before them eventually did. They slow the tempos, reveal a few more chops, and sound a bit more like a conventional rock band. Of course, leader Naoko Yamano does so while singing of the thrills of “Shopping,” eating ramen (“Ramen Rock”), and enjoying her “Green Tea” ice cream, so her own homage to The Ramones remains intact, even if here she’s sounding more like their Halfway to Sanity album than Rocket to Russia. This shouldn’t be a problem for anyone who’s been following the band for decades. It’s a welcome change, actually. There’s still a spunky joy to the girl group ballad “Fortune Cookie.” And to hear a few guitar lines sprinkled through “Dance to the Rock,” “Bad Luck Song," and the nearly five-minute “Robots from Hell” is just as rewarding as the harmonies featured on the sublime “Like a Cat.” Stylistic growth? Yep, it comes to us all.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For 2014’s Overdrive, Shonen Knife do as many punk-pop bands before them eventually did. They slow the tempos, reveal a few more chops, and sound a bit more like a conventional rock band. Of course, leader Naoko Yamano does so while singing of the thrills of “Shopping,” eating ramen (“Ramen Rock”), and enjoying her “Green Tea” ice cream, so her own homage to The Ramones remains intact, even if here she’s sounding more like their Halfway to Sanity album than Rocket to Russia. This shouldn’t be a problem for anyone who’s been following the band for decades. It’s a welcome change, actually. There’s still a spunky joy to the girl group ballad “Fortune Cookie.” And to hear a few guitar lines sprinkled through “Dance to the Rock,” “Bad Luck Song," and the nearly five-minute “Robots from Hell” is just as rewarding as the harmonies featured on the sublime “Like a Cat.” Stylistic growth? Yep, it comes to us all.

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