.Otoboke Beaver an Unhinged Experience

Bow to the Beaver

In the age of instant access, fast streaming and the option to have any style of music from around the globe playing at one’s fingertips, nothing’s shocking. Been there, done that. Seen it all in the 21st Century.

Then comes along a band like Otoboke Beaver, the wild, all-woman, Japanese quartet that combines garage, punk, surf, pop and pure, unadulterated controlled chaos. The result? An intense cacophony that sounds like it should fall apart before it even begins. Instead, Otoboke Beaver creates tightly wound songs that blast through genres and time signatures like a tweaker shuffling Spotify. 

And this Sunday, Feb. 25,  they are bringing their savage sound and stage show to the Catalyst with openers, South Korean punk band Drinking Boys and Girls Choir and Pity Party, a two-piece from Los Angeles.

 Otoboke Beaver’s music draws from manzai, a form of irreverent Japanese comedy, known for its fast-paced jokes, off-beat timing, double-talk and puns.

The evidence is sprinkled throughout their songs and live show.

secure document shredding

Tracks like “Leave me alone! No, Stay With Me!”, “What Do You Mean You Have to Talk To Me At This Late Date?” and “Dirty Old Fart Is Waiting For My Reaction” start, stop and flow through a cornucopia of screams, distortion, pop beats, and cute, clean singing in just under a couple minutes.

“Acco brings the band with a phrase, and all members will start to add to it and we work together on it to build up over months of trial and effort,” says guitarist YoYoYoshie.

“Sometimes something isn’t working or is missing, so we leave it to work on another song and come back to it. We may add or take away elements as it evolves. Unused ideas may flow into other songs or elements from another song might be combined into this song. It takes a lot of time and practice.”

Originally founded in Kyoto in 2009, Otoboke Beaver was birthed out of the love for rock ‘n roll by singer Accorinrin and YoYoYoshie. The two met in a rock club while attending Ritsumeikan University, a private–and one of the most prestigious–schools in Japan.

“We played together and at first we leaned to more pop-sounding and catchy beats,” writes YoYoYoshie. “But as we played more we found that we liked it when we played faster and harder.”

Their debut EP dropped in 2011 but it wasn’t until 2016 after they signed to their current label, the British indie Damnably, that they released their first–technical–full-length, Okoshiyasu!! Otoboke Beaver, a compilation of previously released material.

In 2013 bassist, Hirochan, joined after their original bassist left and the current line-up was solidified in 2018 with the inclusion of drummer, Kahokiss.

Two years ago, the mad women dropped their first full-length of new, previously unreleased material, Super Champion. Or, as they lovingly refer to it as, “Season 2,” their first album after quitting their day jobs so they could focus exclusively on music.

Yet, as hardcore as their albums are, Otoboke Beaver’s live show is–somehow–even more deranged. YoYoYoshie’s unhinged onstage antics and stage-diving has landed the band several, temporary, social media bans.

Along with being praised by NPR, Stereogum and The Fader, Rolling Stone called their 2023 South By Southwest (SXSW) performance “both a goddamn riot and tight as hell.”

Still not sold? Then maybe take some advice from Mr. Rock himself, Dave Grohl.

“It’ll blow your mind,” the former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighter told Vulture–New York magazine’s entertainment site–in 2021 about Otoboke Beaver’s live show. “It’s the most fucking intense shit you’ve ever seen.”

Otoboke Beaver, punk rock from Kyoto, Japan

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