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The Japanese trio Shonen Knife started off playing a brand of Ramones-meets-Beatles, bubblegum-flavored punk-pop, singing songs about animals and food, then never stopped no matter the circumstances they found themselves in. The group's innocent, shambling records from the early '80s found favor among bands like Redd Kross, Sonic Youth, and Nirvana. A strong connection with the latter led to a boost in the band's profile in the early '90s; the 1992 album Let's Knife was their most widely heard record to date. Though their star faded, they kept making the kind of albums they always had, despite lineup changes that often left singer/guitarist Naoko Yamano the sole constant member. Later records like 2003's Candy Rock and 2011's Osaka Ramones had all the sweetness of their early work, and as their 40th anniversary rolled around, the trio were not done making frolicsome pop-punk, as 2023's Our Best Place made clear.

Osaka, Japan

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