Jasamine White-Gluz hangs her head over her microphone and looks down at her guitar as her hair shades her eyes from view.
It’s 2015, but Jasamine proceeds to party like it’s 1989, emanating waves of perfectly fuzzed out riffs and catchy hooks in a perfect picture of a classic shoegazer.
As lead vocalist of Montreal shoegazers No Joy, she’s been kicking off their sets with a song from their new album “More Faithful,” released in June via Mexican Summer.
The song, “Remember Nothing,” is a perfect apéritif — light and bubbly — whetting your palette for the rest of what is about to follow. No Joy made for perfect openers for DIIV, another shoegazing group, in a tour stop at the Black Cat on Saturday, Nov. 7. The very full room found plenty to nourish their ears in the sonic assault of vibrant reverb delivered by both bands (and indeed first opener Sunflower Bean).
While Jasamine’s airy voice is light and sweet, her bandmates pound out rhythms that are heavy and strong. Guitarist Laura Lloyd keeps a steely focus on her strings as the thunders through the all-too brief “Remember Nothing.”
The effect is cathartic. Jasamine pleads in the song, “Please make it all go away,” and there is a bit of a sinister vibe to an otherwise bright melody.
Watch No Joy perform “Remember Nothing” live for KEXP in Seattle on June 10, 2015, via YouTube:
More Faithful is my first exposure to No Joy, although it’s the quartet’s third album. In concert, the new album dominates the set list (which is no surprise, as they are out to promote it), and everything is textbook shoegaze. This pleases the swelling crowd in the room, which have come to be exposed to new songs like “Hollywood Teeth,” surely a song about artificiality.
The new songs remain brutally short, even when pleasant in their upbeat tempo. The rhythm section of drummer Garland Hastings and bassist Michael Farsky help to keep things moving. Garland is a laser beam of focus on his drum kit as he races through each 2.5-minute number, and Michael is just as furious on his bass as the women are on their guitars.
The new material proves to be a crowd pleaser, as those who have turned up at the Black Cat to see DIIV pack the front half of the room to better immerse themselves in the envelope of hazy gazey sound generated by No Joy.
Watch No Joy perform “Hollywood Teeth” and “Burial for Twos” live at the Silver Dollar Room during NXNE 2015 in June:
Sadly, No Joy closed out their tour with DIIV a few days ago, and they don’t have any tour dates currently scheduled. Should your ears hunger for a perfect shoegazing experience, however, check them out the next time they are in your town.