Bands that take you back: A personal reflection.

A personal reflection by Just Panda.

Knuckle Chiwawa

There have been so many bands over the years that have made an impact on my life. My musical tastes are vast and eclectic, and no matter what feelings I have there will most certainly be a song that I can go to to enhance those feelings, be it sadness, joy, rage or just something to take me away from the daily toils of being a grown up.

Music took hold of me at a young age, and no more so than my teens. I hated everything. I hated what was considered popular, I hated the cool kids and their Top 40 chart toppers. My friends and I were all part of the alternative scene in town. The odd kids, the ‘goffs’, the kids you didn’t want your own kids to hang out with. But they were my family. They were my gig buddies, my confidantes that I still hold to this day. Most of my social group were into metal and rock, but the genre that took hold of me most, and still to this very day, was punk.

Those 3-chord, fast and angsty songs became a part of me, and sculpted the person I was to become. Bands like The Offspring, NOFX, the Vandals, Misfits, Suicidal Tendencies and the early pop punk bands of the mid to late 90s were the soundtrack to my youth, better days gone by that I fondly remember.

So, when a little known Japanese punk band called Knuckle Chiwawa popped up on my Twitter feed not even a year ago, I was suddenly catapulted back to my teen years, joyous fast paced punk songs that made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. What an incredible feeling! It had been a long time since a new band had made me feel alive the way Knuckle Chiwawa had.

I immediately sought out their music and immersed myself in their catchy punk driven sound. Formed back in 2019, the ‘fancy animal’ themed band burst onto the scene after lead singer and all-round firecracker Shibazuko Rei-Chan graduated from her idol unit Burst Girls. As someone who is only a few years into their alt idol journey, I was unfamiliar with Rei-Chan and her previous work in the music scene, so I had fresh unbiased eyes on her new venture. Not alone in this, she is joined by Saekitty on guitar, Beniko on bass and Mrs Yamabiko on drums. This four-piece works. They all bring that special element that a punk band needs: energy on stage. And they have it by the bucket load.

Seriously, what a band! With two albums released so far, mini album ‘Hello Eater’ and a slew of live shows in Japan, they have steadily built a dedicated fanbase (called Livestock) both at home and abroad. I would give my left arm for a UK tour (someone make it happen please). The utterly genuine joy this band brings to me has had me moshing in the car with a grin so big I’m certain it can be seen from the driver in front.

Most of the UK community members know me from the Babymetal scene, the band who introduced me to Japanese bands in the first place. But there is something about Knuckle Chiwawa that just puts me in a good mood. After years of emo and melodic pop rock that turned every house party into a wake, I am beyond happy that upbeat punk is making somewhat of a comeback. And I hope the Chiwawas continue on their ‘in your face’ high energy journey, and I will definitely be joining them for the ride.

Oi! Oi!

You can find Knuckle Chiwawa on streaming platforms Apple Music and Spotify.

‘Hello Eater’ is available now.

To support Knuckle Chiwawa


Release Date: March 28, 2021

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Continue reading DEARDEVIL: Calling

Cool Bands I Didn’t Discover Because of Anime

A personal music review by Beth.

To be truthful, this journey of discovery was completely unexpected. Some years ago as a person who still owned mixtapes, I decided to go through them.

On one I discovered a Japanese band that with saavy use of the internet I found were called The Blue Hearts.
That was just the beginning and that is where we will begin.

**The Blue Hearts** – One of the more famous Japanese punk bands that were prevalent from 1985 – 1995. Their songs ranged from fun and punchy hits like Linda Linda or Kiss Shite Hoshii to a myriad of rock ballads. Sadly about the only band on the list not still active today. Well…not exactly…

Continue reading Cool Bands I Didn’t Discover Because of Anime

MANACLE: we are liberation

Hot off their first one-man live and the release of their highly anticipated debut album, MANACLE have been catapulted into the alternative idol universe, much to the delight of fans both in Japan and internationally.

With their dark and heavy electro sound, MANACLE have certainly made their presence known in the underground scene since their conception not even a year ago. And now with the release of the incredible debut album LIBERATION and fantastic new music video for ‘Look at Me’, Risaki, Ray, Hina and Maon found time in their busy schedule to chat with the Beyond Senpai team.

Here is what they had to say.

Continue reading MANACLE: we are liberation

Kakkoii Club-through the lens of Japanese live music photography

The live music experience isn’t all mosh pits in a hot, dark room with a few hundred strangers. Right at the front, beyond the barrier, are a niche group of people who capture those incredible moments in a split second.

The live music photographers have the best seat in the house. They take the very moments we fans enjoy and freeze them in time forever. And in the UK Japanese music scene, there is no one more widely known than Kakkoii Club.

Continue reading Kakkoii Club-through the lens of Japanese live music photography

Babybeard: Smile, dance, scream!

Ladybeard is back and has joined forces with Japanese idols Kotomi and Suzu for what they describe as an adorable assault on the senses.

Its been a year since we were teased about a new idol project from the legendary Ladybeard, and this week we have been blessed with news of BABYBEARD!

After spending 15 years onstage and on camera in the entertainment world, from pro-wrestling, heavy metal performance to stunt work, dance, theatre, film and TV, in no less than 5 languages, the Australian cross-dresser has achieved international success and a legion of adoring fans across the world.

Through all that, Ladybeard has come to realise his purpose on Earth…And he will fulfil that purpose with BABYBEARD.

Continue reading Babybeard: Smile, dance, scream!

From the Basement

Tokyo based indie pop rockers HEAVENSTAMP are back with a new record, From the Basement, and it doesn’t miss a beat.

After the announcement of joining the SETSUZOKU RECORDS roster in late 2020 and the January release of ‘Sail to Heaven’ setting the tone for the new record, fans have been waiting for the imminent drop. And they weren’t disappointed.

Continue reading From the Basement

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