ARTIST: No Joy
RELEASE: More Faithful
RELEASE DATE: 09/06/15
RECORD COMPANY: Mexican Summer Records
Montreal’s ‘No Joy’ fronted by two lovely ladies (Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Llloyd) has transcended their shoegaze label on this latest album, their third full length record. Let’s face it, the genre has grown a bit tired, and there are a bunch of new bands competing for your ears, so it’s sometimes hard to distinguish one band from another sometimes. Many people will review this new album and tell you it sounds like XYZ, and I might throw down a few names for reference, but I mostly go with my gut.
Produced by Jorge Elbrecht (Violens), this record pushes beyond the boundaries of their past music, and this works in their favor. The music swims by at a fast pace, as all good records do, not weighed down by taking itself too seriously. All the hallmarks of psych/shoegaze/dream pop are in play, with effects-laden guitars and druggy vocals (“Chalk Snake”), muscular riffs (“Remember Nothing”), and sprightly tones (“Everything New”). Jasamine and Laura’s dulcet tones twine together seamlessly, and thankfully aren’t buried in the mix. “Hollywood Teeth” roars like the best Wipers/Swervedriver tunes, its guitar ferocity tempered by sweet vocals. I love the softer interlude between fuzzed out guitars, a trick the band uses often to distinguish its music from other similar acts. The songs are short and succinct, so you aren’t dragged into ten minute jams, and all tunes stand on their own. “Moon in My Mouth” is an unexpected and pleasant change of pace, a slow slice of dream pop for a sultry summer day (which it is as I’m writing this).
“Burial in Twos” starts off slow and builds to a majestic climax, while “Corpe Daemon” has punkish energy, reminding me a tad of Lush and music of a bygone era. Guitars and drums skitter across this track at a breakneck pace, and suddenly it ends abruptly. “Bolas” is a sturdy but slow burn, and the aforementioned “Chalk Snake” is in your face shoegaze bombast (in the best way). “Rude Films” is underlaid by piano, buried harmonies, and some feedback-driven guitar, and “I am an Eye Machine” is a straightforward piece with chilled keyboard washes and pretty harmonies. “Judith” closes the album in swooning splendor, with layers of gauzy guitars and spaced out vocals. “More Faithful” is a transitional release which reflects the talent and hard work this group puts in. I look forward to hearing a lot more from this quartet.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Music has always been a driving force for Elizabeth Klisiewicz, which she days “continues to define my existence”. During and after her college years, she ran a weekly radio show at WMUA FM Radio and also at a community station in Springfield, MA, in addition to writing music and concert reviews for the college newspaper. At present, she writes for The Big Takeover Magazine and The Active Listener Blog, and recently began producing a semi-regular Mixcloud-based show called The Kitchen Sink. In the real world, when not writing technical manuals, she gets her thrills from reading mysteries, birdwatching, and can always be found with a camera and a maxed-out storage card full of music.