Bomb the Rocks: Early Days Singles 1989

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This Japanese all-girl (except once, for a year or so) quartet-turned-trio is almost certainly best known for appearing in the Quentin Tarantino movie Kill Bill, Vol. 1, or maybe for licensing their song "Woo Hoo" in a commercial. This compilation contains "Woo Hoo," but that track's almost soft enough to be worthy of Shonen Knife, and not at all representative of the ladies at their best. The raucous countdown that opens the disc -- "10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 54321!" -- gives a much better indication of what the's do. They're a punky garage/rockabilly act who write songs like "She Was a Mau Mau," "Motor Cycle Go-Go-Go," "I Was a Teenage Cave Woman," and generally come off like a slightly less distortion-fixated, distaff version of Guitar Wolf. Frontwoman Ronnie Fujiyama's last name is fortuitous, because she's every bit as raw a rock & roll howler as Wanda Jackson, who famously sang "Fujiyama Mama." Her guitar skills aren't half bad either; she cranks it up to almost Link Wray levels of scorch, as her sister, Fujii Sachiko, slams the kit and bassist Omo throbs away. This is amped-up, three-chord rock & roll, sometimes with simple lyrics and other times instrumental (but still punctuated by high-pitched shrieks). The's are a Japanese national treasure who deserve the international audience they've earned through hard touring -- this disc, which, like its title says, compiles their early singles and EPs (most of which are otherwise unavailable in America, except for the first six tracks, which Sympathy for the Record Industry released as the Bomb the Twist EP), is a near-perfect introduction to the band (though it would have been nice to have "I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield"), and may in fact be all the casual fan needs, since their full-length albums didn't exactly break new ground.

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