Japanese Punk-Rockers, Otoboke Beaver, LP ‘Super Champon’ is the Perfect Dose of Feminist Rage

Otoboke Beaver おとぼけビ~バ~ are a punk-rock-garage quartet from Kyoto, Japan. The band’s name is taken from a local ‘Love Hotel’ and they describe themselves as: “Japanese girls ‘knock out or pound cake’ band”

Formed at Kyoto University’s music club, the band consists of Accorinrin (Lead Vocal & Guitar), Yoyoyoshie (Guitar & Vocals), Hirochan (Bass & Vocals) and Kahokiss (Drums & Vocals).

Acco’s off-kilter self-taught compositional and confrontational performance skills, together with the band’s incredible musicianship make for a thrilling and unmissable live act. 

Damnably Records released the compilation ‘Okoshiyasu!! Otoboke Beaver’ in March 2016, which was championed by Gideon Coe and Tom Ravenscroft on BBC6Music & John Kennedy on XFM. 2017 was a breakthrough year for the band, with attention from Pitchfork, NPR, i-D and The Fader and more, acclaimed debuts at SXSW and FujiRock Festival, a sold-out show in London’s legendary 100 Club, and their ‘Love Is Short’ 7” charted in the UK for 4 weeks. 

In 2018 the band’s ‘ATTYUUMA’ tour saw them travel over 24,000 miles in a week, on a brief UK tour that was bookmarked by slots at Coachella Music Festival. Recent converts include Dave Grohl, Tadanobu Asano, Tom Moreno, Krist Novoselic, Aidan Moffat and The Cribs, the latter describing them as “PUNK AS F*CK”.  

Photo by Mayumi Hirata

“…It’ll blow your mind, dude. It’s the most fucking intense shit you’ve ever seen…” 

Dave Grohl

After kicking things off at 2019’s SXSW music opening party and a run of wild showcases, the band released new album “ITEKOMA HITS” in April on Damnably, receiving widespread praise from the likes of Pitchfork, Stereogum, NYLON, BrooklynVegan and many more. They made their European debut at Lowlands Festival in The Netherlands, appeared as part of the line up at Koyabu Sonic Festival in Japan, and composed the opening theme song for Japanese comedy series “Susumu Inomata & 8 Mojo”.  

Super Champon follows 2019’s critically acclaimed Itekoma Hits‘Champon’ is a Japanese noun meaning a mixture or jumble of things of different types, as the band explains, “It’s a mixture of songs from love to food, life and JASRAC. Our music is genreless and has various elements. We hope that it will be our masterpiece of chaos music. It also sounds like champion.” Across 18 songs, chief singer-songwriter Acco expands the band’s possibilities and pushes their musical skills to the limit. Acco has remarked previously that she is more influenced by ‘manzai,’ a traditional style of comedy in Japanese culture comparable to stand-up comedy, exemplified by its use of slang puns and wordplay, speedy back-and-forth dialogue and impeccable timing in delivering a punchline — characteristics of which Otoboke Beaver’s music shares in droves. 
PARDON?” was the album’s lead single, a jokey recounting of a situation the band often finds themselves in, with unrelenting miscommunication of unsolicited and overzealous points of views. The simple lyrical refrains are an extreme contrast to the stop-start time changes and dizzying pace. Loneliness and dating are hot topics, tackling contradictory desires (“Leave me alone! No, stay with me!” and “I don’t want to die alone”), rebuffing them (“First class side-guy” and “You’re no hero shut up F**k you man-whore”), and all the absurdities in between (“I checked your cellphone” and “Do you want me to send a DM”). 

Previously released singles “I am not maternal,” “Don’t call me mojo,” and “Dirty old fart is waiting for my reaction” see the band pushing back on societal pressure to reproduce, calling out ridiculous judgements on what gives a woman value, and reacting to uninvited counsel from would-be patronizers. The food-themed songs here are figurative rather than literally about food. “YAKITORI” (Japanese grilled chicken) is a weapon of choice in a petty act of revenge. “I won’t dish out salad” is an allegorical rejection of actions and roles expected of genders. In “Nabe party with pocket brothers,” the band imagines the awkwardness of a hotpot party with partner-swapped exes. “George & Janice” is the second song from Damnably’s roster to pay tribute to the marriage of the label’s co-heads, (the other was from Say Sue Me), with a typically hilarious take on the couple’s bickering love. “Let’s shopping after show” is a short and to-the-point hustle; all bands need to eat.

They announced they would be touring the new album across Japan and North America, marking their first full length tour of North America. The tour will continue across Europe into 2023. Show out and support, tickets available here.