Don’t-oh light-oh my fiyah!

I like to strike while the iron is hot.

No, really.

Which is why I’m putting to one side for a moment some recordings I made a fortnight ago at Sea Change to bring you this slice of anarchic fruitiness.

Otoboke Beaver

(To be fair, “putting to one side” might suggest that I had some choice in the matter – I suspect these ladies don’t do a lot of waiting in line…)

I had a good few credits to use up at eMusic last week, so I hoovered up a bunch of stuff I’d never heard of, which is rarely a mistake and often the absolute strength of my favourite music supplier. There’s some more Sun Ra, some Mingus I thought I’d try out, a bit of doomy German psyche.

Also this.

Otoboke Beaver is amongst other things the name of a “love hotel” in Osaka and also four feisty Japanese women who play it loud and stupid, belting out spikey guitar pieces perforated by the sort of babbling, screaming vocals that’d scare the sweet bejeesus out of most middle-aged, coffee-swilling hipsters.

Fortunately not this middle-aged, coffee-swilling hipster, though, ho no. In fact, I think I might be in love.

Watch this:


This is clearly loads of fun, from the pigeon-English through the feckless Batman riffs to the massive amounts of nutty energy running amok all over this video. This is a track from the Itekoma Hits record that eMusic has nudged my way – 14 noisy “songs” knocked out in under 30 minutes, all of them riotous, all of them banged out at a furious speed and volume (the dial will have read “breakneck”, I’d imagine). All of which belies the pink lipsticked, swinging London look the band has.

There’s a review of the record done by Pitchfork which is quite interesting and certainly worth a couple of minutes of your time to fill in a few of the gaps that I’ll not concern myself with here. I can’t help thinking they’re missing the point a little, though, when they attempt to provide “analysis” of lyrics and social importance – Otoboke Beaver are all about love of the lurid, the joy of oomph.

Extravagant swirls of punk and post punk guitar riffs reel around the air, drums are flattened lustily, bass strings are plucked to within an inch of their nylon lives and choruses are bawled out by all four with a punch that leaves you queasy. There’s occasional actual singing too, you know, light and shade and all that…

And then there’s the jaw-dropping, coffee-down-your-shirt craziness of the whole shebang. Without wishing to sleepwalk into cultural stereotyping, there are moments in this next video when it’s hard not to think of The Ring. “Bat-shit crazy” is a phrase I may well have been guilty of over-using on these pages but I wish I’d saved it…


I’ll get on with the Sea Change stuff now, I promise (but sometimes it’s just got to be done…)

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