reviewed by Anna Alger
Blending no wave, shoegaze, and indie rock with bohemian vocals, No Joy have created a uniquely entrancing new album: More Faithful. This is the Montrealers’ first release on a Canadian label, suggesting more to come from the band in their home country.
No Joy cut to the chase from the first second of More Faithful, “Remember Nothing” featuring blistering guitar work contrasted by twisting, echoing vocals. Dissonant yet direct, the song burns out into the drastically different, lilting melodies of “Everything New,” a sonic rebirth of sorts. Rollicking percussion steadies the meandering melodies present. The band excels at strong indie rock songs paired with lush, lofty vocals, as evident in “Hollywood Teeth” and the slowed down groove of “Moon in my Mouth.” The atmospheric, pulsating “Burial in Twos” has a no wave inspired edge to it.
“Corpo Daemon” is frantic and driving, somewhat akin to the sound of Deerhunter. A more languid energy is introduced in “Bolas,” its contemplation pierced by bright guitar arpeggios. Opening with guitar reminiscent of Pavement, the walloping drums of “Chalk Snake” mark another change of pace in More Faithful. It’s squalling guitar seamlessly leads into the thumping “Rude Films,” the vocals swept up in distortion. A highlight of the record is found in the anticipation built by the looping, soft melodies of “I am an Eye Machine.”
Entrancing vocals mixed with steady beats and alternative rock guitar phrasing makes for the creation of No Joy’s niche in the world of melding genres created by traditional rock instruments. There is a special quality to the band’s music due its juxtaposition of disparate musical influences and elements, which makes their new record well worth diving into. More Faithful is available now via Arts & Crafts.
Top Tracks: “Moon in my Mouth,” “I am an Eye Machine”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good) + *swoop*