Music’s potential to cross cultural borders and therefore influence the artistic awareness of particular cultures has always been a thought-provoking concept. Treading between the borders of shoegaze, electronic, hardcore and indie rock (to name a few), four-piece rock band THE NOVEMBERS is an archetypal result of alt-rock styles making their mark on the Japanese music scene.

Boasting a diverse career, THE NOVEMBERS’ have thrown many facets of their musical sounds and influences to rock enthusiasts. The band’s predilection for dreamy shoegaze aesthetics is captured in tracks like ‘Harem’, from their 2012 EP GIFT. Its hazy and hypnotic production consisting of reverb-laden vocals, blurred guitar riffs and languid melodies and harmonies stimulates a never-ending feeling of reverie that is so alluring to the ears.

Dogma’ is a stark contrast from their previous record. From their 2013 EP Fourth wall, ‘Dogma’ carries a sinister façade right from the outset. Immersing one’s audible senses with a commotion of noise and gothic rock, the track explodes with macabre-like sonic punches and a perpetuating warped guitar riff, sustaining a rhythmic urgency throughout this turbulent, nightmarish ride with Muse-like vocal undulations and a storm of distortion.

Building on the shoegaze traditions of British/Irish bands like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, Romancé’ (from The Novembers’ 2014 album Rhapsody In Beauty) flows through a tranquil ambient rock stream, opening with some percussion timbres and rhythms that offset the balance of the track with its exotic quality but is equally effective in injecting a touch of mystery. Jangling guitar chords and phrases, silky synths and rich, velvety vocals unfold in a melancholic ambience, gently rubbing down the listener’s senses.

Their eclectic bank of solid shoegaze tunes, seductive vocals and powerful guitar work affirms The Novembers’ recognised musical efforts and the band’s considerable reputation in the burgeoning rock scene in Japan.

Other Listening:

  • きれいな海へ ‘Kireina Umi E’ (‘To a beautiful sea’)
  • こわれる ‘Kowareru’ (‘break’)
  • Flower of life
  • Misstopia
  • she lab luck

© Isaku Takahashi