Riotously fun riot grrrls Otoboke Beaver have come a long way since TMF premiered their first EP release outside of Japan exactly a year ago. Just back from their much lauded US performance debut at SXSW, the band have released their outrageously good new EP Love Is Short via Damnably Records.
Texas is pretty fancy, but the punk-rock-garage quartet haven't forgotten the less sunny but just as rock 'n' roll loving Britain, where they return for their second headline tour (with Say Sue Me) in May. The Guardian – along with pretty much everyone else – have only just discovered and fell in love with these guys but, finger on the pulse as we are, TMF covered the band from the Japanese Midlands when they visited the English Midlands last year.
Listen to Love Is Short below before snapping it up via Bandcamp. The EP is also released on vinyl for Record Store Day 2017. Band details and tour dates below the fold.
Otoboke Beaver describe themselves as: “Japanese girls 'knock out or pound cake' band”. Formed in the summer of 2009 in Kyoto, Japan, and consists of Accorinrin (lead Vocal & Guitar), Yoyoyoshie (Guitar &Vocals), Hiro-chan (Bass &Vocals), Pop (Drums &Vocals). Live, the band invade the audience and have shared stages with Shonen Knife, Guitar Wolf, BO NINGEN and more. “Love is Short!!” is the second EP and third release (outside Japan) from Otoboke Beaver.
The band’s name is taken from a local ‘Love Hotel’ and the song subject matter is a screw you to bad love, devious boyfriends and general sexism. Their early releases carried artwork with scary visual beaver puns and Otoboke Beaver are part of a new wave of feminist Japanese bands, defining themselves sexually and musically. The pressure of the conformist and patriarchal society is palpable in their music.
Love Is Short sees the band blood-letting a generation’s gender frustration. Introduce me to your family has more vocal playfulness, funky bass and buzzsaw guitar that eventually tumbles into a volcano of noise, with beats tripping over themselves and looks at relationships as a kind of personal war. Ikezu (Mean) at 19 seconds is a stamping flash of anger. There's something about the Kansai triangle (Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto - it's Japan's Midlands, America’s midwest) that's produced some great and very varied music with a great sense of unity, though each city is radically different. Otoboke Beaver have emerged from one of those many provincial scenes, influenced by western Riot Grrrl attitudes and the sounds of punk and angular post-rock, make easy work of the complex arrangements, reminiscent of inventive jazzy queercore punks ‘God Is My Co-Pilot’, or more recently ‘Afrirampo’. The band sing in Japanese, and often in difficult to translate Kyoto slang.
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