“Face Like Thunder” was released by The Japanese House on September 27, 2016, and is the first single off of their upcoming EP, Swim Against the Tide.
This track takes The Japanese House’s style and adds clarity to it, with Amber Bain’s harmonized and multi-part vocals returning, but with a crisper level of production than was seen on earlier releases. As usual, her vocals are quite good.
Thematically, this song deals with a quarrel within a relationship, which is fairly familiar ground for The Japanese House lyrically, but is delivered in the slightly obtuse and melancholic way that characterizes their music. In other words, although the topical area is nothing new, Bain’s vocalizations sell the lyrics in a convincing and mournful manner.
Although this single is reminiscent of their earlier material, it is atypically upbeat, and has a hook and bridge that sounds as if it would be on The 1975’s newest release, stealing musical flourishes from eighties pop, with the chirpy synth and punchy bass of that era forming the backbone of the chorus. The 1975-esque feel stems from George Daniel’s involvement in production, but regardless of the comparisons, this song does not feel like a rip-off of anyone else’s style.
Overall, this is a solid, catchy track and continues The Japanese House’s consistent record of quality releases, despite it not being a significant departure from their usual sound.