Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Shonen Knife

  • Shonen Knife [Gasatanka/Giant, 1990] C+
  • Osaka Ramones: A Tribute to the Ramones [Damnably, 2011] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Shonen Knife [Gasatanka/Giant, 1990]
The problem with the Japanese is that they don't know the difference between a Ramones song and a Wrigley commercial. But we do, or should, and these are Wrigley commercials, in which three lookee-no-touchee geishas do a good job of half implying that the supercatchy "Banana Fish" is a J.D. Salinger reference--in other words, that they condescend to American culture as much as American counterculture condescends to them. Unfortunately, the only thing that might make this ambiguity interesting would be musical dimensions they have no time, use, or aptitude for. C+

Osaka Ramones: A Tribute to the Ramones [Damnably, 2011]
Temporarily unannoying J-altpop post-geishas chirp the classics ("We're a Happy Family," "Blitzkrieg Bop") ***