For those of you who aren’t familiar with No Joy, now is the time to get to know this explosive, dream-gaze quartet from Montreal. Formed by Jasamine White-Gluz & Laura Lloyd in 2009, No Joy have released a string of EPs and albums since 2010 and are back after a year with the very brief EP Drool Sucker on Topshelf Records. This is their first release since the fantastic More Faithful album and let’s just say these our friends to the north are on a roll. Jasamine and Laura have honed a unique, bombastic approach to the shoegaze sound with Drool Sucker that is nine minutes of pleasantries. No Joy is known for their energetic live shows. Full speed ahead seems to be the theme here with guitars that explode at full blast right from the start.
One of the unique elements to Drool Sucker has to be the use of samples. The kick-off track ‘A Thorn In Garlands Side’ begins with a phone dial-up sound and drums; then abrupt guitars come in immediately with no warning. This track is filled with hazy, swirling vocals that are beautifully illegible; as per usual with No Joy. Like the rest of this EP, the vocals on this song is mostly fully charged ambience. With No Joy, it’s really hard to understand what they’re saying but it doesn’t really matter since their music is so enchanting and exciting. I really appreciate the out of this world, psychedelic, delay-filled ear candy that concludes this track with a vocal sample: “Glad I can help with whatever it is you’re doing.” This was the coolest three-minute voice mail one can ever receive.
The remaining six minutes of this EP only gets better from here. ‘XO (Adam’s Getting Married)’ is probably my favorite track on this effort with its multilayered nature that comes in parts; a sight for sore ears. One of the coolest moments here are the slow, chugging guitars in the middle section that spread out and expand as the song continues. I definitely repeated this track multiple times just to really understand what I was hearing.
The remaining three minutes of Drool Sucker are like an ear massage with its sweet, bright melody that stands out. ‘Theme Song’ is the frosting on this dream-rock, melodic cake with assorted vocal samples and harmonious vocals floating in the background. No Joy have truly created something beautiful here by remaining true to the exciting, furious shoegaze inspired sound from their previous work without sounding monotonous. There is clear direction here with well-defined songwriting that serves as a preview to what these Canadian dream-rockers have in store for us in the future. Bring it on, ladies.