While 2015 has seen a lot of the heavyweights of the Japanese shoegaze scene releasing new material (with a few more to come before the end of the year) some new and lesser known acts have also emerged. One such group is Chiba prefecture’s Plant Cell who managed to quietly release a ton of music via their Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages this year. The alt-rock/shoegaze newcomers formed in January as a two-piece consisting of frontman Sato and bassist Li. Over the past 9 or so months Plant Cell has put out a steady flow of material including some pretty neat covers – they’ve done some Ringo Deathstarr, Slowdive, and quite a bit of Spiral Life, among others.
The guitars are at the forefront of what Plant Cell does, which is fitting for a band whose members previously worked together at a guitar manufacturer. It sounds like a bit of an obvious quality when talking about shoegaze, but Plant Cell takes much more of a Western approach than many of its fellow countrymen by burying the vocals and using them to supplement the overall textural of the music – primarily the big billowy guitars. It’s a nice change of pace from the pop-heavy climate of the Japanese shoegaze scene. I think fans of bands like magic love will be able to appreciate what these guys do based on the overall theme of the music.
With the additions of Mori on backing vocals and keys and Oshima on guitars, the band is getting set to make its live debut at the end of the month, with periodic live performances being one of the plans going forward. One would think that at the rate Plant Cell has been pumping out music a proper release would be a possibility in the near future, though at this moment Sato says that isn’t something that’s in the works. With a very productive first year just about wrapped up for Plant Cell they’ve at very least established themselves as one to keep an eye on from here on out.
You can check out their body of work to date on Soundcloud and Bandcamp (the former has quite a bit more music and all of the covers). A lot of their stuff is currently available for free download. You can also give them a follow on Facebook.