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Wonwons - Original Punk Super Stars
CD-R (Osaka, Japan)

-theme the wonwons
-wonwon killer
-wonwon style
-sunset wonwons
-wonwon rock
-wonwon avantgard
-sunset wonwons (live)
-wonwon rock (live)
-wonwon style (live)
-wonwon carnival (live)

Wonwans are: M, H, & N
Cover design by Foodslave Inc.

(Slippytown) Yeah! Imagine Half Japanese re-invented as a surf-based Japanese combo! These barkin' Japanese folks take primal instrumental surf music and turn it into even more primal (post-)punk squawl--except their technique's not as crude as a quick listen might imply. Really swangin' sounds done in a neo-retro style that's rarely done well. I dig. - Eddie Flowers

(Aural Innovations no. 23) Wonwons are a Japanese surf punk rock n roll band from Japan. I've got little info about them but I get the impression they are no longer in existence, having been active in the early 90's, The CD is only 24 minutes long but the Wonwons make their statement succinctly across the 11 tracks that make up this set. The first track is a classic 60's styled surf instrumental. But quickly thereafter they get considerably more down ‘n dirty, taking on a rawer garage surf sound with female "Yeah Yeah" vocals and an edge that brings to mind the Ventures plummeting to Earth in a damaged spaceship. On some tracks the band have a strong B-52s resemblance, though much punkier. And on others the guitars have a totally stoned space vibe to them. A fun set. And in case you're interested, "Wonwon" means bark of a dog in Japanese. - Jerry Kranitz

(Dead Angel no. 58) Dunno how punk these guys really are, but they sure do swing. They sound like a garage band (and it sounds like it was recorded in their garage, not that there's anything wrong with that, right?) playing trash-rock -- mostly surf and rockabilly -- with jazz chords and fuzzy li'l amps that make the guitars sizzle with a bad-ass attitude. Maybe this is what the Oblivians would sound like if they could actually play and had the good sense to keep their mouths shut most of the time. Or maybe they're the American Yatsura. Either way, they gots themselves a lotta spring in their walk and they rock the house, dig? This would make a good party record. About half the album is "studio" tracks and the rest is live (including the live versions of a few of the studio tracks along with newer ones); the difference in sound quality and performance in both cases is so minimal you probably never would have known if I hadn't told you. So you might as well start forgetting it right now and just concentrate on their hip-shakin' grooves and natty rhythms, don't you think? Oh, one last thing: every song title incorporates the band's name ("Theme of Wonwon," "Wonwon Killer," "Sunset Wonwons," etc.) -- the only thing you can do, really, when you have a name as good as Wonwons and you're the original punk super stars.... - RKF

(Indieville 6/23/2003) Straight out of Japan comes this delicious release. Original Punk Super Stars was recorded in 1996 by the now-defunct surf-punk-with-a-twist outfit Wonwons. It's a demented, hooky ride buried under diy recording limitations, but it's fun nonetheless, and definitely recommended for fans of the Japanese underground sound. Taking a cue from The Ventures as much as from modern day greats like Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Wonwons creates ridiculous surf tracks that rely heavily on bass and occasional treble gee-tar. The drumming is solid and the vocals are bizarrely comical when used. Five live tunes are included in addition to the six recorded tracks to give the listener a taste of the band's exciting live performance style. Fuck water surfing, this disc is for hitting waves of pure acid. Embrace the burn. - Matt Shimmer

(Vital Weekly no. 411) ublic Eyeshore get many of their releases from the land of the rising sun and Wonwons are no different. "Wonwon" is the Japanese onomatopeic bark of dogs. They play eleven songs on their release, which don't have much to do with punk music, as occured in 1977 (even when these recording were made in 1996). Rather they play surf like music in a rock n roll fashion. It sounds like was recorded in their garage, which add to the distinct underground quality of their music. Short pieces, as this release doesn't extend the twenty five minute range, and even when this kind of music is far far away from the musics covered in Vital Weekly, I must admit I quite enjoyed it. It reminded me of music that maybe a quarter of a century ago was to be found in my cassette player or as seen in a local squad. And that is enough, sometimes, to make it fully enjoyable. - Frans de Waard

(Aiding & Abetting no. 253) The Public Eyesore web site calls this stuff "anti-climactic concept rock." Jesus, I wish I could think of stuff like that. All I could come up with was "dreadfully-recorded drone surf." Though that's not terrible. It just makes Wonwons sound, um, bad. And instead, this is a charming little set. Short songs, and not very many of them. Six studio tracks (as such) and five live recordings (three songs are repeated), and all of them sound like the soundtrack to the old "Batman" TV show if it were played on a turntable with a bad motor and fucked-up needle. Again, I must insist that I'm writing a good review. I really like this stuff. It has a certain joie de vivre, a panache that would be lacking if Wonwons had actually bothered to spend money on recording. Sometimes you have to break music down to its simplest forms to truly appreciate it. And sometimes I work too damned hard to justify my oft-bizarre taste in music. Whatever. This disc is good for me. - Jon Worley

(Ampersand Etcetera 7/2005) Bass, guitar and drums in a 24 minute tribute to 60s guitar and surf rock. The guitar rides over gently driving drums and strong bass, not noisy or thrash, but good time rock and roll. Some vocals, rather strained most of the time but laughing in the Wipeout-like Wonton style, a few tricks (motorbike recordings, background tape-things) and a touch of drone in Wonton avantgard. Half the album is live, including fairly straight reprises of a couple of songs (all of which have Wonwon in the title). Retro-fun, which could have been longer and not dragged. - Jermey Keens

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