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[Off The Record]
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Thug Murder

On their debut disc, this Tokyo trio bear little resemblance to their most famous Japanese girl-punk forerunners: they’re far less cutesy than Shonen Knife and far less corrosive than Melt-Banana. Instead, they’ve come up with an ass-kicking take on UK-style streetpunk that borrows heavily from the Clash. They pay tribute to their heroes with a reverent cover of the Clash’s reverent cover of " I Fought the Law, " but Thug Murder have more than mere imitation up their sleeve.

Along with its fine collection of big-hearted pub anthems, the disc includes a couple of bulldozing hardcore tracks that showcase the group’s raw, youthful energy. The small-scale epic " No Time To Lose " splits the difference between the two, starting off in forceful rawk instrumental mode before launching into a shrieking, high-speed rant by singer Ryoko Naitoh. Once she’s gotten her frustrations out, Naitoh’s got big things in mind: she’s gonna get a yellow bicycle, she’s gonna see California, she’s gonna cheer you up. The girls’ broken English can be pretty cryptic, but they deliver rousing choruses like " Bare ones, real ones/It’s more cooler than that " ( " Mie Chan " ) with more than enough joy to make up for their lack of lucidity. And they certainly have no problem translating the rock.


Issue Date: March 22 - March 29, 2001

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