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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Shonen Knife covering the Ramones May 9, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Let’s have something upbeat. And look no further than Shonen Knife. It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? A band, long time exponents of punky pop trending music go back to one of their key influences – the Ramones, and cover in 33 minutes thirteen of their songs, and in doing so give a fascinating skew-ways view of both groups.

Because of course the Ramones were pop, too none more so, with an ear for melody that all the layered guitars merely accentuated. And of course Shonen Knife are pop, none more so, with their love of punk filtered through their own sensibility (and Shonen Knife have been on the go, albeit with varying line-ups since the early 1980s).And this makes what otherwise might seem almost like a box ticking exercise something more.

So they don’t dispense with the heaviness of We Want the Airwaves or Blitzkrieg Bop, anything but. And their vocals seem to lock more neatly into Joey’s sometimes curious vocal phrasing even better than one might expect. Allmusic argue that they reveal just how odd an outfit the Ramones were, particularly lyrically. Not necessarily upbeat at all. But then much popular music has played with that particular contradiction and to great effect. And perhaps there is a level of dissonance between Shonen Knife’s own image and that of the Ramones. But then again… perhaps not.

Anyhow, a great listen. And definitely time for a This Weekend on their own output soon…

Sheena is a Punk Rocker

We Want the Airwaves

Chinese Rock

Rock’n’Roll High School (live)

Beat on the Brat

CJ Ramone with Shonen Knife Live


1. sonofstan - May 9, 2020

Feeling grim during the week after a meeting where we all realised we had no idea how we would be working next year, I played Rockaway Beach five times. Felt much better.
A few years back, I went to see The Ramonas – you can guess the conceit – and, enjoyable as it was, it proved that, easy as it sounds, it’s really hard to get right. Whereas the Knife do. It’s all about the fact that the ramones took their timing from Johnny, I think, soi you need to get that relationship right.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 9, 2020

So true. I still smile when I hear them (the Ramones), and yet the lyrics are so… well, positioned in a very specific context and a tough one too. I love End of the Century as much as the early ones (and Too Tough To Die too). But all those up to TTTD are great great albums. The first three are a revelation. Just what can be done in a non metal way with minimalist riffs etc. Fantastic.

And it’s not easy as you say. It took huge effort by them.


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