Album Mini-review: No Joy — More Faithful

File Next to: My Bloody Valentine, Best Coast

There’s a curious quality to some of the best shoegaze: the dual feeling of moving both at breakneck speed and at a glacial pace. The music on More Faithful, No Joy’s third long player, is a case in point. From the opening notes of kickoff track “Remember Nothing,” the band is full-on, steamrolling ahead in a manner recalling Hüsker Dü. And simultaneously, they’re creating a gauzy, head-nodding, somnambulant ambience. And that sharp contrast works. When they dial things down — that is to say, when they lean more in the dreamy direction – the melody in their concise songs reveals itself more overtly. Sweet vocal harmonies float atop hypnotically repeated chords. No Joy’s overall sound suggests Best Coast with a wider sonic palette. More Faithful is sequenced so that the pummeling tunes alternate with the subtler ones; the effect is alluring and creates a nice bit of musical tension.

An edited version of this review previously appeared in the Colorado Springs Independent.

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