Otoboke Beaver
Itekoma Hits


4.0
excellent

Review

by JohnnyoftheWell CONTRIBUTOR (105 Reviews)
May 7th, 2019 | 92 replies


Release Date: 04/26/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Introduce Me To Your Family

When Otoboke Beaver played in London last week, several small details stood out to me; the mosh pit had the highest concentration of smiles of any gig I’ve seen, whenever frontwoman Accorinrin’s English rapport faltered in between songs, guitarist Yoyoyoshie (who wore her strap unusually high) would step in with a tried-and-tested howl of “WE ARE OTOBOKE BEAVER”, and (of course) my friend and I both crushed hugely on bassist Hiro-chan. What is most surprising to me, however, is how I can still remember any of this after such a such a devastatingly proficient and sensationally entertaining performance. Language barrier notwithstanding, the band played a stormer of a set that got people dancing, screaming and grinning with just the kind of wholesome intensity I’d hoped they’d inspire. I had no idea what size of crowd a hardcore girl group from Kyoto would draw in the UK at this point in their career, and I bought my ticket on the understanding that I might be one of the only people dancing in an otherwise static, underattended room.

I should never have doubted, however, because Itekoma Hits, Otoboke Beaver’s new album, is a punk firestorm that strikes an instant accessibility while never sounding less than blisteringly energetic. It’s slick, fast, angry, unpredictable and - above all - stupendously fun in a way that was always bound to get a good crowd together and on their feet. This album is a straight-up thrill that never lets up in the slightest throughout its half-hour runtime. The band’s knack for trading repetitive chants and riffs against off-kilter quirks translates well into their concise model of songwriting; there’s a lot going on here for a punk four-piece, but they present it very clearly and the result is delightfully infectious.

What really marks these girls out from the pack is the staggering level of precision they bring to the table. Guitarist Yoyoyoshie is a particular standout, showing off a real knack for unconventional licks and accents that nod towards the Melt-Banana school of textural guitar stylings as they do the basics of three-chord hardcore, but the whole band maintain a high standard of tight musicianship throughout this album. Impressive as their chops are, the best part is how they weave them into the songwriting: these songs are full of off-kilter punctuations and stop-start dynamics that are executed within a heartbeat. The band know their craft and channel these into a fierce, unpredictable sense of momentum that is fractured and restored at their whim, giving Itekoma Hits a rare crossover appeal between intensity- and experimentally- inclined audiences. Their music has a range of adventurous ideas, but all of them are directed towards the facets of punk that made it so exciting and fun to begin with. It’s this sense that translated especially well live (and applies equally in studio): Otoboke Beaver play unapologetically ferocious music in a way that feels more welcoming than it does aggressive. They’re a sure-fire hit for fans of the genre, but also the rare kind of ‘heavy’ band that many listeners of different tastes will likely find enjoyable; there’s something fun and wholesome in the band’s thunder and fury that comes across quite distinctly.

It helps that their tracks are very consistent, which is critical to making Itekoma Hits the blast it is; it’s not a highlight album in the slightest, and it’s something of a wasted effort to pick out which tracks are better or worse. The standouts, then, are the songs that show slightly more stylistic divergence: Introduce Me To Your Family springs to mind as the grooviest thing here, while 6 day working week is a pain squeezes what feels like an unlikely hardcore epic into just under three minutes. At the end of the day, however, the qualities of this album are sufficiently face-value that anyone not consumed by the perceived novelty of four Japanese women playing breakneck punk with frequent English language lyrics will likely find a lot to enjoy here.



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user ratings (102)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
May 7th 2019


18622 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a blast and deserves your love: https://otobokebeaver.bandcamp.com

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

NOTINTHEFACE
May 7th 2019


1896 Comments


Your reviews and corresponding recs are getting me through a slow week of work. This absolutely rules.

DadKungFu
May 7th 2019


682 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You sold me hard on this, can't wait to check it out.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
May 7th 2019


18622 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hope you dig, lots of fun to be had here

"Your reviews and corresponding recs are getting me through a slow week of work. This absolutely rules."

Glad to hear it, NOTINTHEFACE - this is defo one for making time fly by ;]



DadKungFu
May 7th 2019


682 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I fucking love it.

Archelirion
May 7th 2019


5933 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fucking sweet review for a fucking sweet album my guy. It's a real pleasant surprise just how sharp the teeth on this beaut are

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2019


17182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My girls! Soooo happy to see them finally breaking it out there. The album is a blast and glad to read you had a hell of a good time Johnny. It's been 4 years since the last time I saw them, but it's always a good time.

Digging: Drei Affen - Seguimos Ciegxs

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2019


18622 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, hopefully you'll have a chance to catch them when they're back home! Thanks so much for rec'ing them, v grateful for the good times :]

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2019


17182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mah girls on the front page!

dimsim3478
May 8th 2019


8511 Comments


wish their albums weren't so heavy on recycled tracks but w/e at least i get a sick color LP to blast every time they put one out

Digging: Have a Nice Day! - DYSTOPIA ROMANCE 4.0

parksungjoon
May 8th 2019


9584 Comments


finally, time for glorious nippon steel and waifus to show these baka gaijins how real music is made

parksungjoon
May 8th 2019


9584 Comments


jokes aside though this is pretty good

widowslaugh123
May 8th 2019


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy shit this is amazing

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2019


18622 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"finally, time for glorious nippon steel and waifus to show these baka gaijins how real music is made"

teme!!



Uzumaki
May 8th 2019


1796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Saw this the other day on another (non-reviews) music site I peruse, and not gonna lie, I knew you’d probably be reviewing this. I’m gonna get to this sometime late this week/early next week...

Digging: Noisemaker - Red Aphelion

fromrows
May 8th 2019


336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very fun album and great review!

Digging: The Murder City Devils - In Name and Blood

widowslaugh123
May 8th 2019


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Who will be the first to break the chain of 4’s?

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2019


18622 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha Uzu I'm way too predictable ;] Will have to cover more wayward stuff...

"Who will be the first to break the chain of 4’s?"

I once reviewed an album with nine exclusively 4.5 ratings, and that hasn't dropped since so fingers crossed...

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2019


17182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If someone breaks it I'll summon the ban hammer.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
May 9th 2019


18622 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh snap, jinxed

Get that hammer on



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