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New Shonen Knife: “Jump Into The New World”

Short Version: Shonen Knife stare down the transience of life.

Longer Version: Quick, what does Shonen Knife sing about? If you answered “animals” and “banana chips” and “brain powers,” congrats you are correct, as you would be if you opened up a picture book and pointed to the first illustration you found. This has always been Shonen Knife’s selling point, singing extremely simplistic songs over driving, Ramones-inspired riffs. They’ve made a decades-spanning career out of this, and a large chunk of it is extremely charming. Why get needlessly wordy when you can find beauty in giant cats and other flights of childhood wonder?

“Jump Into The New World” is as uncomplicated as Shonen Knife have ever been, with lyrics delivered in direct English over a lithe bit of guitar playing. Yet maybe I’ve let the image of them singing about mushrooms and covering “Daydream Believer,” but “Jump” seems ever so slightly more…mortal, than other Shonen Knife songs. It’s ostensibly about taking chances and doing new things, but plenty of time is devoted to the feeling of being alone and — most tellingly — the fact “you only get one life.” So do something with it, basically. Sometimes simplicity leads to existential truths more important than hot chocolate. Listen above.