The third LP from No Joy is More Faithful which delivers some beautiful shoegaze that whirls around in reverb and almost chant-like vocals which layer over one another before being hooked back to earth with some concrete guitar work. It’s full of ethereal melodies which glance toward Slowdive and Curve before plowing its own groove and going with it.
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No Joy’s third full-length More Faithful continues where the previous two left off: hazy, melodic shoegaze that fluctuates between calmness and chaos. While their last LP Wait To Pleasure was more languid than fast-paced, More Faithful is less measured and more heavy, while electronic elements they previously experimented with on Wait To Pleasure are brought to the fore on songs like the hedonistic ‘Burial in Twos’, representing a more up-tempo, dancier feel to their usually dream-like quality.
Having cleaned up production-wise on their last LP, here things sound similarly refined, with little emphasis on the usual reverb delay and excessive distortion. With the heightened interest in using electronic techniques it suggests that the band are veering away from their shoegaze reputation, but the sleepy, mesmeric drone on most tracks here stays faithful to the band’s usual fuzzy disposition.
Like most modern shoegaze bands, it’s difficult not to draw comparisons with famed proprietors like MBV and Slowdive, but as far as shoegaze copyists go, No Joy are as authentic as you can get, often sounding like a band from the glory days of heavy reverb and distortion. There’s also enough experimentation and electronic techniques here to prevent them from becoming a parody of their antecedents. Tried and tested as it is, No Joy do a pretty good job at emulating a sound that remains gloriously disorientating no matter what era it’s heard in.
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