The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

No Joy: More faithful (Mexican Summer, 2015)

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“On their third full-length, More Faithful, Montreal shoegazers No Joy make it clear that they’re not afraid to shift their sights towards the sky once in awhile. Although their songs still possess the signature qualities of the genre—fuzzy guitars and repetitive, mantra-like refrains—there are hints that the band is trying to expand within it, breaking through the sometimes-monotonous din with moments of light. It’s a hard album to pin down, at moments bright and tender, at times as dark and scuzzy, and the contrast helps mitigate the sameness that sometimes plagued their previous efforts.
Beginning with their second LP Wait to Pleasure and continuing through the 2013 EP Pastel and Pass Out, you could hear the band seeking ways to deepen their sound. More Faithfulwas recorded with Ariel Pink producer Jorge Elbrecht in Brooklyn and Costa Rica, and there’s a little bit of the city and moments of the sea present on nearly every track. “Moon in My Mouth”, a psyched-out, dreamy track with a swaying, beach-punk riff, showcases singer Jazamine White-Gluz’s bright vocals and lulls the listener. It’s punk rock taken poolside, city mice taking a break from the harsh squall. The sound is both massive and soft around its edges, layering elements of surf-rock and psychedelia into the harsh din of Laura Lloyd’s guitars.
Light and dark are constantly at play across the album’s surface, like shadows from moving clouds. Album opener “Remember Nothing” is a dissonant, clanging contrast to the mellow vibes of “Moon”, opening with a fast, hi-hat-reliant drum beat and a muddy riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Sonic Youth record. Then the vocals enter, and leaven the murk with a hint of tenderness. “Burial in Twos” starts out spacious and gorgeous, with a wide-open ringing riff and pinging synth hits, before some gristly electric guitars enter and grind their teeth.
There’s a feeling that nothing on the album is accidental. The squealing, careening “Chalk Snake”, which is so Jesus and Mary Chain-esque it veers into the realm of pastiche, ends by juxtaposing a high-pitched note of guitar squall with a piano line that almost sounds like Joni Mitchell. It’s these subversive little moments that help No Joy avoid the diminishing returns that often plagues shoegazers. And although they’re still obviously committed to noise, still praying at the fuzzy altar of My Bloody Valentine, they’re a band that’s still evolving, and letting a little bit of light in through the cracks has served them well” (Pitchfork)

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22 febrero, 2016 - Posted by | No Joy

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