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Otoboke Beaver
Super Champon Jared Dix , May 17th, 2022 08:39

Chaos reigns on the new Otoboke Beaver record, finds Jared Dix

I love a bit of head nodding, beard stroking, contemplation with my music as much as anybody but every now and then you start to drift off, maybe forget how electric and thrilling it can be. Super Champon is the latest wake up call from Kyoto's incredible Otoboke Beaver. Invigorating, light speed garage-core that scorches a smile onto your idiot face making everything else feel redundant for its terse twenty-odd minute run time. A wonderful balance of melody and ferocity, their tunes tap into a wide-eyed joy at the heart of their rage. Serrated guitar noise and complex vocal parts mix with an adrenaline-rush rhythm section in concentrated blasts. It goes straight to your head.

Like the best punk Otoboke Beaver are a loud “NO!” to the world around them. On recent single ‘Pardon’ this starts out playfully with vocalist Accorinrin smiling sweetly and repeating “I don't know what you mean?” while the band are kicking your ass, then escalates through a puppet show fight until frustration overflows. I think they’re starting to sing more in English this time around – not that it especially matters. The force of their sound and the entertaining titles are usually enough to get the point across. A nineteen-second dressing down over convulsive drums and churning bass called ‘You’re no hero shut up fuck you man-whore’ being a perfect example. While they don’t present any manifesto, there is an explicitly female defiance – particularly regarding cultural expectations – that runs through their songs. It flares brightly in the squealing disdain of ‘Dirty old fart is waiting for my reaction’ or ‘I won’t dish out salads’, a burst of clattering mania like an argument in a kitchen.

First coming to the UK as support for the mighty Shonen Knife (with whom they share a taste for colourful co-ordinated dresses), they’re something like a missing link between the Knife’s kawaii punk and Melt Banana’s demented futurist grindcore. Although they get called grindcore a lot because of how fast and compact their tunes are, it doesn’t quite sit right. These are fierce and ecstatic convulsions, fractured structures pared down to the essence and delivered via musical telepathy. On ‘I am not maternal’ the drums move across from a hardcore kick-snare beat into a sped-up disco groove and back as the bass bubbles upwards and the guitar slides squealing over everything. ‘Champon’ is a Japanese word for a jumble of things of different types. According to the band “Our music is genre-less and has various elements. We hope that it will be our masterpiece of chaos music. It also sounds like champion.” All hail the champions of chaos music.