Despite its early anarchistic leanings punk rock soon became a genre that was shackled by rules and constraints. But every so often there comes a band who reinvent the wheel (think Glassjaw, Burn, Fucked Up) and Kyoto’s Otoboke Beaver are one such band. Four women railing against a patriarchal society, they deliver a sound that’s fast and furious and their third album, Super Champon finds them at the peak of their powers.
For those unfamiliar with the complex maze that is Otoboke Beaver, Super Champon might sound a little overwhelming on first listen, but once your ears become attuned there’s a whole world of goodness waiting to be unearthed. One of only two tracks that (barely) break the two-minute mark ‘I am not maternal’ is a blistering, white-knuckle ride that threatens to burn itself out as it bounces from speaker to speaker, but here’s the rub; dig beneath the sonic fury and you’ll find a strong melodic sensibility. That the melody is buried deep inside distorted guitars and thunderous drums makes for a more rewarding listen, and it’s one that demands your full attention.
If Frank Zappa had played punk, then I’m sure it would have sounded similar to Super Champon; it’s left-field, full of unorthodox time signatures and verges on the avant-garde. A musical collage, ‘Leave me alone! No, stay with me’ juts various sounds together, it’s quite disorientating, and as it teeters on the edge of a precipice, you get the feeling that it shouldn’t work, but somehow it does. Of course, all this makes for a very entertaining album; like listening to Black Flag and Napalm Death at full blast, it’ll initiate a mosh pit in your living room (and with plenty of sofa-diving too).
If you were ever in doubt about Otoboke Beaver’s Riot Grrl credentials then tracks such as ‘First-class side-guy’ and ‘You’re no hero shut up f*ck you man-whore’ should set you straight while ‘Dirty old fart is waiting for my reaction’ seems intent on alienating their core fanbase. ‘Don’t call me mojo’ (originally released on red 5” vinyl) lands a few heavy blows and Super Champon’s cover, featuring the band members being biffed by boxing gloves is indicative of the sound contained within as each track is like a well-aimed punch to the solar plexus.
Featuring 18 songs in 21 minutes Super Champon is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it type of album, and while some might bemoan its brevity, Otoboke Beaver have crammed more into those 21 minutes than most bands pack into a whole career.
- Reviewed By Peter Dennis.
- Super Champon is released via Damnably and is available now.
- Official Website (English)
- Official Website (Japanese)
- I am not maternal
- I won’t dish out salads
- Nabe party with pocket brothers
- Leave Me alone! No, stay with me!
- I checked your cellphone
- I put my love to you in a song JASRAC
- Don’t call me mojo
- Where did you buy such a nice watch you are wearing now
- George & Janice
- First-class side-guy
- You’re no hero shut up f*ck you man-whore
- I don’t want to die alone
- Dirty old fart is waiting for my reaction
- Do you want me to send a DM
- Do you want me to send a DM part 2
- Let’s go shopping after show