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Album Review: No Joy – Wait to Pleasure

No Joy, aka Canadian shoegazing girls Jasmine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd, are here to greet you with a fully-furnished, studio-stamped album. Taking their sun-drenched, noise pop sound to a whole new level, these girls have dusted themselves down, scrubbed their sandals and are ready for business.

The record begins with the enigmatically named ‘E’, a rip curl of thrashing guitars, pummeled snares and whispering vocals – a recurrent theme of the record. No Joy seem to thrive on hedonism, each track plummets the listener into an orgy of ethereal drones, blurry guitars and dreams of debauchery. First song in and I’m ready to burn the bra, sell my shoes and run off into the sunset. Well, almost.

Admittedly, after the fourth or fifth song, the novelty wears off slightly and No Joy unfortunately become victim to the perilous pitfall of a lot of weaker shoegaze music – it gets kind of boring. ‘Slug Night’ is self-indulgent in its essence and ‘Lunar Phobia’ – despite the intriguing title – becomes laborious after roughly the third ‘breathy intro phase’.

That said, Wait to Pleasure does have some moments that bring it out of its own bedroom; tracks such as ‘Ignored Pets’ and ‘Blue Neck Riviera’ have clearly benefited from the professional studio time and are well written, exciting songs poised to become a great soundtrack to anyone’s summer. ‘Prodigy’ is fast paced and post-punk – evoking a new wave feel to the album that any Blondie fan would be pleasantly surprised at. Similarly, ‘Lizard Kicks’ speeds up the whole affair, playing around with rhythms into a 4/4 frenzy.

Album closer ‘Uhy Yuoi Yoi’ shows a more tender side to the grungy girls, in which we see the scuzzy electric guitars traded in for a more acoustic set-up, producing a lilting, comforting tune that leaves the listener in the dream-like state they were induced into at the start.

All in all, Wait to Pleasure is a chilled out, sun-soaked, dream-drenched release and what it lacks in diversity it makes up for in its blissed-out, reflective moments, allowing the listener to lose oneself in a swirl of sound. That said, there’s still a way to go for No Joy – and it’s going to take more than eerie electrics and peculiar song titles to ride that wave out.

- Liz Ward

No Joy’s Wait to Pleasure is released April 22 on Mexican Summer. You can order it here.

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