Album Review: Shonen Knife’s “Sweet Candy Power”

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It’s been thirty-eight years since Japanese punk/garage rockers Shonen Knife first came together, and today they’re releasing their 19th studio album, Sweet Candy Power via Good Charamel Records.

Recorded in the band’s hometown of Osaka, Sweet Candy Power is an exuberant good time, wrapped in a cute package. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face, tracks like “Dizzy,” “Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich,” and “California Lemon Trees” are simply just a good time. Each of these tracks is complete with the band’s signature bubbly ’70s guitar and catchy lyrics.

shonen knife bandBut then there is “My Independent Country,” which stands out as the power ballad of the album. Reminiscent of the protest rock songs of the ’60s and ’70s, “My Independent Country” is a strong blend of Naoko’s self-empowering lyrics, with Atsuko’s shredding bass guitar, and Risa’s blood-pumping drums. Standing alone amidst a sea of cuteness, this song is Shonen Knife’s punk anthem for all the cute but strong folks out there. Really, if this song was a person, they would be dressed in black leather while smiling sweetly and eating gummy bears and lollipops.

If the 10-track album Sweet Candy Power is any indication, the ladies of Shonen Knife have no plans to slow down anytime soon. Just ending a European tour, the band is planning a North American tour for the fall. Don’t forget to check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo provided by PR

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Samantha Stevens has been singing along with the radio for as long as she can remember. Guided by a love for music, she spent the better part of her childhood performing in classical and contemporary choirs. But straight out of high school, she decided that she wanted to see the world, and so she did what any young adventurer would do…she joined the navy. An entire world of sounds, music, and stories opened up to her, and she found herself inspired by it all. In 2015, she retired from the Royal Canadian Navy after over a decade of service. Since then she has achieved a BA in literature, will soon have an MA in journalism, and is even a trained journalist and reporter. Currently living near Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Samantha has written for a wide variety of publications including Spill Magazine, Stereo Embers Magazine, and the North Bay Nugget. She still sings for the sheer joy of it.

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