Growing up

If Shonen Knife had a little sister who was rough around the edges, she would be Mummy the Peepshow — and she’d be the worst kind of sibling to have.

She’d upstage her Big Sis time and again, being brattier, cutesy-er, and more in-your-face. While Shonen Knife works hard to get to where she is, Mummy the Peepshow comes along and does something bigger and better.

Of course, there really is no rivalry between the two all-women bands from Osaka, Japan, but it’s difficult to hear Mummy the Peepshow without thinking about Shonen Knife.

With Electric Rollergirl, Mummy the Peepshow sharpens its ever improving songwriting skills. Where This Is Egg Speaking … stayed true to its punk roots, Electric Rollergirl finds the group etching its way into onee-san’s territory.

From the quasi-disco beat of “Disco Holiday” to the New Wave riffs of “Kick Off” even to the charming off-kilter cover the Smiths’ “This Charming Man,” Mummy the Peepshow dash out one earnest pop ditty after another, tackling an encyclopedia of post-punk influences with indie abandon.

Unlike Shonen Knife, who take after the power pop of Red Kross, Mummy looks toward 50s bubblegum pop and, silly as this sounds, the Dead Milkmen for inspiration.

And while Maki Mummy’s untrained vocals grounds Mummy the Peepshow firmly in punk, the band’s music moves toward more crafted, more hook-filled pop. The band has also thankfully found a sound engineer to boost its levels, giving Electric Rollergirl just a touch more polish.

In other words, Mummy is maturing. They’re growing up, and given the proverbial leaps and bounds the group has attained since its scattered debut Mummy Bullion two years ago, they’re ready to step out the shadow of Osaka’s more recognized punk trio.