Stacking fuzzed-out guitar upon fuzzed-out guitar, Quebecois grungers No Joy produce the sort of no-frills riffage that the bland nu-gaze establishment sorely needs. We saw No Joy at the Casa Del Popolo, with a literary-looking crowd fed on treats from the vegetarian café next door. Since everyone in Montreal is hot, the band was right at home.
When their debut record Ghost Blonde hit hard drives and hi-fis in the summer of 2010 it did so in a swarm of almost totally un-live-up-toable hype. Sure enough, the record kept critics and listeners’ eardrums contentedly vibrating, and cascades of praise swept the band out of the studio and onto the road for early tours with Wavves and Best Coast.
The band originally formed via email when Jasmine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd were splitting time between Montreal and LA. They’ve developed a sound that reflects and mingles those two cities’ divergent aesthetics; take the biggest working bands from each city—Arcade Fire and No Age—and imagine them in a gang war. Meanwhile, there’s this cute girl nodding hi to you while she plunks down some wild noise on the guitar. No Joy play songs with methodic structure in an age when droned-out guitars and big, whooshy messes are en vogue. They’re the band the music geeks didn’t see coming.