Shonen Knife

Genki Shock!

Rejoice, oh ye faithful! After much too long a wait, the greatest all-female Japanese pop-art rock band of all time has a new album out. Once again songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire Naoko Yamano has created a set of songs simultaneously celebrating and calling into question the glorious mess of the modern world. “S.P.A.M.” opens the album with a heartfelt assessment of the wonders of e-mail marketing: “I’m not ready to cope with so many evil SPAM e-mails.” And technological communication is only one aspect of the difficult nature of the physical world; in “Spider House,” the conflict is between tiny creatures and humans: “He built his house in a sunny place. But this is my home. Get out of here.” There are also songs celebrating vegetables (“Broccoli Man”) and stuffed toys (“Giant Kitty”) as well as one about the therapeutic effect of a pleasant “Forest Walk.” And Yamano gets down with her guitar-shredding inner heavy-metal goddess in “The Queen of Darkness.” Well worth seeking out for any lover of pop art or pop music.