Shonen Knife – Overdrive
There’s just something about the Japanese approach to pop music that sets both knees and lower lips a-tremblin' - especially here in the (relatively) over-privileged west. Its batshit vitality serves as a neat contrast to the way we’ve turned rock ’n’ roll into a careerist treadmill; an industry that barely even pretends to have anything to do with rebellion or counter-culture.
You could speculate endlessly as to how Shonen Knife’s deliciously silly ramalama-punk transcends all that, from their never-ending supply of bubblegum hooks to their remarkable understanding of winsome pop gibberish (instantly hummable odes Ramen Rock and Green Tea make perfect sense for all the same reasons as Who Put The Bomp or Do-Wah-Diddy). Overdrive’s sugary take on 70s dinosaur rock also stands unexpectedly in its favour, but ultimately all you need to know about the Osaka trio’s nineteenth album is this: it’s fucking AWESOME. Best not to question love when it’s inevitably, irredeemably absolute.