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Shonen Knife - Osaka Ramones (Cover Artwork)

Shonen Knife

Shonen Knife: Osaka RamonesOsaka Ramones (2011)
Good Charamel

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: JohnGentileJohnGentile
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More than 12 bands have released full-length albums composed solely of Ramones material, with many of the bands simply playing a Ramones album in its entirety. There are more than 16 additional Ramones tribute albums. By this point, bands that play Ramones songs aren't so much playing covers as they.
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More than 12 bands have released full-length albums composed solely of Ramones material, with many of the bands simply playing a Ramones album in its entirety. There are more than 16 additional Ramones tribute albums. By this point, bands that play Ramones songs aren't so much playing covers as they are playing the newest from of Americana. Interestingly, this phenomenon has crossed the mighty Pacific, and long-running J-pop band Shonen Knife has just released Osaka Ramones, a collection of studio recordings of the band playing Ramones songs as their part time alter-egos, the Osaka Ramones.

In the spirit of their subjects, Shonen Knife tears though 13 songs and thee chords in about 32 minutes. The versions presented here are energetic, simple, and reverent. While many Ramones covers tend to over-emphasize one aspect of the Ramones in lieu of the others, such as focusing on the Beach Boys influences or playing rapid renditions that lose the internal soul of the songs, here, Shonen Knife is able to walk that fine line between depressed aggression and detached introspection that the Ramones invented.

The most striking feature of the release are the vocals. While the music is fairly standard Ramones aping, rarely are Ramones songs covered by female performers, and even more so, rarely are they covered by Japanese females. As a result, the vocals re-tune the youthful exuberance of early Ramones recordings, but maintain a quirkiness of a woman singing songs that are very often from the male perspective. Sometimes the delivery is a little unusual, as some of the songs seem to be sung phonetically, even though the members Shonen Knife are fluent in Enlgish. But then again, sometimes it seemed like the Ramones were singing phonetic versions of their own material.

The song selection makes the album one of the better Ramones tributes. Although the group uses mega classics like "Blitzkrieg Bop", "Pinhead" and "Rockaway Beach" as anchors, they also dip into some of the less famous but fantastic, songs including "We Want the Airwaves", "Scattergun" and "We're a Happy Family".

Obviously, these cuts aren't going to replace the originals. But they are fun diversions that show the ubiquitousness and dearth of the Ramones' influence on music worldwide.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
skolarx (July 22, 2011)

off the top of my head i can think of 10 ramones cover albums i own by single bands (screeching weasel, the queers, vindictives, mtx, beatnik termites, parasites, john cougar concentration camp, huntingtons (think i might have 2 different ones from these guys,) boris the sprinkler, nutley brass)

MONTEAM (July 21, 2011)

Learn all about the Ramones in the book;
‚??ON THE ROAD WITH THE RAMONES‚?Ě.
Throughout the remarkable twenty-two-year career of the Ramones the seminal punk rock band, Rock ‚??n‚?? Roll Hall of Famers and Recording Academy Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners Monte A. Melnick saw it all. He was the band‚??s tour manager from their 1974 CBGB debut to their final show in 1996. Now, in this NEW UPDATED EDITION he tells his story. Full of insider perspectives and exclusive interviews and packed with over 250 personal color photos and images; this is a must-have for all fans of the Ramones.

http://www.myspace.com/ontheroadwiththeramones

Half_Idiot (July 20, 2011)

Yeah, MTX's Road To Ruin is awesome. I usually hate acoustic takes of fast punk songs but the version of "Go Mental" is amazing.

Make_Way (July 20, 2011)

I definitely want to pick up a copy of this in the near future.

jimmynorville - the Mr. T Experience cover album is awesome. There might be some bias as Mr. T Experience is my favorite band, but I think they did a really good job on Road to Ruin.

Fuzzy (July 20, 2011)

Obviously, these cuts aren't going to replace the originals. But they are fun diversions that show the ubiquitousness and dearth of the Ramones' influence on music worldwide.

The word 'dearth' doesn't meant what you want it to in that sentence. I think you meant to use depth. Otherwise it doesn't make a lot of sense.

likeaparasite (July 20, 2011)

I agree that the band is past their prime, but even on recent albums there is the occasional standout track. Other great Ramones covers with female vocals worth seeking out are "Yea Yea" by "Strawberry Mud Pie!" and "Slug" by "Supersnazz" from the Japanese Ramones Tribute "Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waD5JV0iYT0
http://ww w.youtube.com/watch?v=1mNldffKA7E

jimmynorville (July 19, 2011)

I want to hear Mr. T Experience's cover of Road to Ruin.

Skibz777 (July 19, 2011)

Ever since Michie Nakatani left in '99 - dissolving the original line-up - Shonen Knife's output has been consistently bland and repetitive. Now it's just down to one original member and a cover album...they've officially entered Misfits territory.

Hate to be so negative since I've always loved SK's classic material, but there's absolutely nothing that could remotely interest me in this album.

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