You’d have to be bleaker than a black hole to live up to a name as cataclysmically futile as No Joy.
Yet while the Montreal quartet never reach such heights (or depths), there is a crushing, end-of-the-world dreariness about their post-rock/shoegaze noise. That’s not to say ‘Drool Sucker’ is joyless; in fact the band’s press release alludes to them playing “shimmery infectious dream pop”, which, when the rolling drums and doom-laden introduction to ‘A Thorn in Garland’s Side’ kicks in, makes such claims sound like the punchline to a bad joke. Instead, ‘Drool Sucker’ is the sound of a band not giving a fuck about convention, toying with expectations and delivering an EP so raw and honest it simply demands your attention.
Only three songs long and the first EP in a series, for all the dismal imagery alluded to above ‘Drool Sucker’ is remarkably accessible, offering a short, sharp stab of progressive, engaging and innovative shoegaze. That said, ‘Drool Sucker’ is not after easy wins – and you wouldn’t call your band No Joy if you were offering everything up on a plate. Instead, there’s an artistry to ‘XO (Adam’s Getting Married)’ and ‘Theme Song’ that elevates proceedings to Sonic Youth levels of brooding alt-rock dissonance.
Cerebral and melodious, imaginative and powerful, there’s some deft hands and smart minds behind the apocalyptic sounds of No Joy. No-one said The Rapture would be beautiful, but No Joy have conjured up a fitting soundtrack to the End of Days.
’Drool Sucker’ EP by No Joy is released on 15th July on Topshelf Records.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)