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No Joy : Wait To Pleasure

Wait To Pleasure is a teasing, lingering and absorbing record with an unexpected depth. 

No Joy are undoubtedly shoegaze-y; the Montreal-based three piece owe Loveless-era My Bloody Valentine some serious props. But there’s a bit more going on beyond the feedback and vocal loops. There are elements of dream pop, along the lines of Asobi Seksu, but also an attitude that’s all their own. On Wait To Pleasure, lyrics are about texture more than content – they form another gauzy layer, one that swirls around the listener forming part of a rich aural tapestry. 

 

Many of the songs feature contrasting elements whose interplay gives them another dimension. Opening track ‘E’ is a highlight, it begins simply enough, but gradually builds to a noisy wall of sound. The softly looped and chopped up vocals of ‘Blue Neck Riviera’ glide over fuzzy feedback, and ‘Lunar Phobia’ fades to an interesting dichotomy of drum pads and Grimes-like “ooh aahs”. 'Ignored Pets' is driven by a pounding bassline, but it's mixed right back so it is more of a pulse, rather than overwhelming the other elements. And that's basically the case on all the tracks. None of the elements are mixed too high so everything plays its part in the fabric of the song, coming to the fore only to fade out at the end.

 

The songs are warm and rich, but are lighter than other more soupy fuzz-driven bands like The Laurels, which is where "pop" blends with "noise" for No Joy. The album is well produced, but not to the point where it is too perfectly slick. The songs have room to breathe and are distinct from each other while still maintaining a cohesive sound. Basically it's kind of like The Powerpuff Girls – it's made of sugar, spice and everything nice.

 

**** out of five stars

 

BY NATALIE AMAT

 

Wait To Pleasure is out now on Popfrenzy/Mexican Summer.