No Joy is principally the project of Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd. Tapping into the ethereal revival of shoegaze and blisspop, White-Gluz and Lloyd have wowed listeners with their blend of dreamy vocals and glistening walls of sound. However, White-Gluz and Lloyd are not alone in the world of No Joy as they are joined by drummer Garland Hastings and bassist Michael Farsky. Gluing it all together is solid song writing that embraces everything good about pithy pop structures. Their songs come into the speakers, make statements, and then fade, never lingering nor staying too long. Creep is their newest offering and is a four song EP with tracks that could each be singles in their own right. While there are bright elements to this new ep, No Joy’s undergirding melancholia remains and, in the mix, are several new sounds and influences, taking their music to another level. The tracks sound huge and industrial influences and the more aggressive side of music becomes a part of the mix, especially on songs like “Tearing Apart the Dark”.
No Joy invite the listener into the world of Creep with a lo-fi sample that sounds like the soundtrack to an old western serial. It is brief but notable. Then, the band kicks in with bright guitars and gorgeous fuzzed out tones. The percussion and bass work are subtle but have an adventurous feel as they gallop along. As is expected by No Joy fans, White-Gluz mesmerizes with her dreamy, hypnotic vocals. I can’t emphasize this enough: the guitar tones on this track are resplendent and the melodies are just perfection. “Hellhole” has dreamy “ahs” and an underlying drone that creates a floor. Hastings creates a syncopated drum beat with shiny high hat at the center. Farsky produces beautifully written bass lines that fill in all the right gaps. However, this doesn’t last as the band begins to blur the lines between instruments and walls of sounds begin to blend instruments into a dense wall. An almost industrial beat sits under the soundscape and White-Gluz’s vocals float along the river of sound.
“Tearing Apart the Dark” is a horror-laden, nightmarescape tour de force. It blasts into the speakers with thudding percussion and bass accompanied by minor key-laden fuzzed out guitars. White-Gluz’s vocals are slightly different here, with dread as an undertone. At one point, the band explodes into a punk/heavy moment and the vocals get aggressive. This is juxtaposed to dreamy, pensive, and light moments that are dream-pop oriented. The song blasts from one extreme to the other, breaking every formula and it’s brilliant. “Fluorescent Dread” rounds out the EP with a techno-laden beat and synths. This 80’s infused track has mournful vocals and metallic, water drenched noises dotting the soundscape. It’s a brilliant industrial piece that gets the head bobbing. As it crescendo’s, this conclusion to the ep explodes in a fiery fuzzed out tumult. A perfect end to what might be a perfect EP.
The offerings in music this year have already been stellar. Creep adds to this stack of incredible music and, I must say, it is a standout EP. I will be shocked if this EP is not in top lists come the end of the year. As No Joy bends genres to do their bidding, they press them into a haze of four perfectly written songs. Creep is a must own ep and, on glorious blue vinyl, who can resist?