You barely see the path you walk upon, clouded by a thick haze but lit by countless fireflies. Welcome to the Foggy Bog festival, located in a deep swamp on a distant planet. Fuzz rockers from all corners of the galaxy journey here to gift their songs to eager listeners, who stand in the smoky gloom and absorb the sounds without sight. Insect lanterns lead you to a clearing, and suddenly they disperse into the air. You hear distant white noise, growing louder . . .
The fuzz! The sweet, glorious fuzz! More Faithful is the third full-length release from No Joy, Montreal shoegazers that stretch and contort the limits of “shoegaze” like nobody else. The trademark sounds of the genre, hazy guitars and cloudy vocal mantras, are present, but it’s clear from the first few seconds of “Remember Nothing” that this is something much different. The instrumentation and compositions are multifarious.
The range of experimentation present on this beautiful, nebulous record is notable at least, and astounding at best. It feels wrong to label this album with the stamp of “shoegaze,” because the only things shoegaze-esque about it are the instrumental tones and textures. The song structures, melodies, and rhythms are essentially disparate in nature, and deserve to be examined as completely unique worlds of sound.
The balance between murky darkness and radiant brightness is No Joy’s specialty. “Remember Nothing” is a raucous affair compared to the cavernous dream pop of “Moon in my Mouth,” while “Chalk Snake” dabbles in the colossal, trudging sounds of doom. It’s a wonderfully diverse record that reveals itself more with each listen. If you’re seeking layered, experimental music with a hazy glow, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)