Song Introduction: Yowamushi Club - Punk Cat A Go Go
‘Punk cat a go go’ is what happens when you abduct Gang of Four’s legendary guitarist Andy Gill, put him down in front of a Sega Dreamcast, and said “you have a week to make a killer song with catchy Japanese lyrics”. The reality is quite different but I have no doubt that if the late Andy Gill had heard ‘punk cat a go go’ before he punched his ticket, he would’ve felt great joy in knowing that 9000 kilometres away, bands such as Yowamushi Club are continuing to develop on the blue print he made in 1979 when he and his bandmates decided 4 chords wasn’t enough and set fire to punk rock with their debut album ‘entertainment!’
Comparisons to legendary punk bands aside, Yowamushi Club’s ‘punk cat a go go’ is not a song you hear every day even in the stranger annals of Japan. Only a select few punk rockers make the leap from your standard 4 to the floor violence to something genuinely new. Imagine if band like Gang of Four never made ‘entertainment!’, or if Black Flag never made ‘My War’, or if Soundgarden never made ‘Screaming Life/Fopp’, the heavy music landscape would be completely different. I don’t know how it would be different but the point is, in this reality it is music from bands such as these that pushed punk from a raging bonfire burning with reckless abandon to being a focused missile of activists, scholars and intellectuals who channeled their fury into betterment for themselves and their communities.
I’m not saying that Yowamushi Club is a landmark punk band that have suddenly infiltrated the elites of rock without any of you even realising it, I’m not even saying that hearing it will change your life. What I am saying is that ‘punk cat a go go’ is a song indicative of great potential. Yes, the title and lyrics are a tad silly, but god damn it’s fun. The real potential is in the instrumentation and production. The Sega synth constantly bubbles through the song like some kind of disco robot. The jagged off kilter guitar work make every effort possible to sound like the heavy loader from ‘Aliens’ as if all the ghost noted chugs and behind-the-nut strums were somehow reminiscent of thundering hydraulics and steel on steel clanking, Trent Reznor would be proud. If that wasn’t enough, the drums and bass go for a piece of the action with errant high speed shuffles that keep up the pace of the song but save of us from the potential monotony of a standard punk rock 4/4 beat.
I definitely went off a tangent earlier with punk rock history, but if there is anything I want you, the reader, to take away from this it is this: It is when punk does what it does best and throws the rule book out the window that we bear witness to genuinely artistry. For more of said such artistry, Yowamushi Club are a band you need to keep your eye on. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
Yowamushi Club will be rocking the stage this Saturday June 26th with Demsky and Nayokenza at Kagurane in Shinjuku.