Home > J-Pop, Music, Reviews > Music Review: Shonen Knife Double A-Side Single “Perfect Freedom/P.Y.O”

Music Review: Shonen Knife Double A-Side Single “Perfect Freedom/P.Y.O”

A trio of songs that will give you wings!

Incredible as it may seem, the all-female group Shonen Knife have been around for 30 years, outlasting many of their contemporaries.  Their music has often been described as pop-punk with a heavy 60s and 70s rock influence – that’s a pretty accurate description.  However, although their influences are obvious, their sound has a welcome freshness to it which has a wide appeal and has earned them an army of loyal fans across the globe.  SK’s latest offering, the double A-side “Perfect Freedom/P.Y.O”, wholly backs up this claim.


1) Perfect Freedom

Words & Music by Naoko

This single release from their newest album, Free Time, starts with a pounding drum intro followed by thrashing guitar chords which are pursued by Naoko’s high-energised vocals. The song has a good melodic structure – something critics and fans have come to expect from chief songwriter Naoko – and is lively and catchy, although, the lyrics themselves are less optimistic suggesting the idea of freedom might not be all it’s cracked up to be as Naoko sings, “Now I’ve got everything I want, it might be a mistake.”

2) P.Y.O

Words & Music by Naoko

Take a good dosage of The Clash, mix with a collective of Nugget bands from the 60s, and add a sprinkle of Father Abraham (The Smurfs Song) and you get…  “P.Y.O”; an infectious, uplifting track with lyrics that could’ve easily have been penned by Ray Davis of The Kinks – a potential crowd-pleaser for sure! This song was written after the band made a trip to a Pick-Your-Own farm in Sussex, England, and therefore, is very “English” in tone.

3) Evil Bird (Bonus Track)

Words & Music by Naoko

The Beatle-esque “Evil Bird”, previously unrealised in Europe, incorporates tight harmonies over a simple but effect rhythm guitar and has a raw garageband feel to it.  The chorus is contagious and will soon wedge itself into your psyche.  If you don’t like this tune, you must be “cuckoo”!Naoko sang this song during her solo set performance in Tokyo in July 2008, but unlike the previous two tracks, “Evil Bird” doesn’t appear on the album Free Time.

As a three-piece comprising of only guitar, drums and bass, SK produce a wall of sound that equals that of any larger rock band, and their continual success of producing exciting, well structured songs is a great testament to their longevity!

So if you’ve yet to experience the exciting sound of Shonen Knife, now is as good a time as any to get familiar with it, you won’t regret it!

Released in Europe on the Damnably label 23 May 2011

Shonen Knife iTunes

Shonen Knife website

Damnably website

Important notice:

Please vote for the new Shonen Knife single “Perfect Freedom” on the 6Music Rebel Playlist.  Voting closes at 23:59 on 12 June 2011.  If it wins, it gets played on every daytime 6Music show during the week of Monday 13 June 2011!

Categories: J-Pop, Music, Reviews

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