Beat Crusaders also known as BECR, are a Japanese rock/punk-pop band. During all promotional appearances, their faces are masked by drawings resembling themselves as printed by a dot-matrix printer.
Band members include Tōru Hidaka (vocals, guitar), Masahiko Kubota (bass), Tarō Katō (guitar), Mashita [real name: Hirofumi Yamashita] (drums), and Keitaimo [real name: Keita Tanabe] (keyboard)
BEAT CRUSADERS, commonly abbreviated BECR, was instigated at the end of 1997 by Tōru Hidaka as an experimental U.S. Lo-Fi Indie Pop unit. The rest of the band later joined as a result of continual experimental gigs performed around the Shimokitazawa (Tokyo) area. Their creative use of analogue, synthesizers and the old Casitone, incorporated with influences of such bands as Weezer and The Rentals, and at times the dynamism of Snuffesque rock , had transformed them into a powerfully melodic guitar band. By the end of 1998, BEAT CRUSADERS had already started creating songs which emphasized they were a crazy and fun live act that was not to be missed. The momentum carried on with a single "E.C.D.T." released in June of the following year which entered independent charts of CD retail shops all across Japan. A month later their first mini-album, "HOWLING SYMPHONY OF..." was released; this entered the charts again with various music magazines giving the big thumbs up. Reflecting their chart action and praise from magazines, numerous live offers followed from notable bands in the Japanese alternative/independent scene, from guitar pop and new wave of new wave, to pop punk and ska bands. They continued to be busy, with their second single "FIRESTARTER" released in early 2000 and later the full-length "ALL YOU CAN EAT". They also were involved in four compilations, their own 'cover' EPs including a split entitled "WXY" with fellow Japanese punk band Captain Hedgehog.
In August 2003, three of the four original members of BEAT CRUSADERS left the band, to eventually go on to form a new band "ANITA CHILI PEPPERS". This left behind only Tōru Hidaka who later recruited four new members, which make up the BEAT CRUSADERS today. It is not known why the past members left. However, it doesn't seem like they left on bad terms, considering Hidaka included the masks of his former bandmates and his actions (he was crying) in the PV, "Sensation".
Later on down the road, their song "HIT IN THE USA" was used for the opening of the anime Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, which moved the band out of the indie scene hitting Japanese music. Since then they have released several more albums including a cover album of American and British songs entitled "MUSICRUSADERS." More recently their song "TONIGHT, TONIGHT, TONIGHT" was used as the fourth opening of the anime Bleach. In 2006, the band's music made its first American appearance as the opening theme song, "Hey x 2 Look x 2" (Aka "Hey Hey Look Look") to the Nicktoons animated series, Kappa Mikey.And now the single winterlong for the opening of the anime Juushin Enbu (Hero Tales).
A full length CD "EPopMAKING," was released on May 30, 2007, it contains 19 tracks, this was followed "Popdod" on June 4, 2008. It is rumored they picked said date due to Hidaka turning 40 the day after the release.