Beat Crusaders All You Can Eat

Judging by the silly cover, the hokey band name and the fact the band hails from Japan — the country that either produces schlocky pop bands like Shonen Knife or obnoxious outfits like Zeni Geva — I must admit that I prepared myself for a trying listen. I found a sensible power pop outfit with new wave influences that was danceable to the max and brimming with major chords and toe-tapping rhythms. The Tokyo quartet impresses, if you can get past the sometimes unwieldy accents, which in retrospect are a sizeable part of the Beat Crusaders charm. Extremely sunny tunes that remind one of the Beach Boys in their heyday, if they time warped into the new millennium, discovered pop punk, took a lot of uppers and turned Japanese. (Pop Kid)