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I really want to see this band play. According to just about everyone (Bethany Cosentino, Marnie Stern, Katie Goodman), No Joy's live show is electrifying. It would likely be screaming loud out of the gate, and I can see the sound guy fondling about trying to even out the washy sounds that blast from their Jazzmasters. Incidentally, I find myself inching the volume up across More Faithful's length. This is shoegaze, and it sucks you in only as much as you let it. Luckily, 'Moon In My Mouth' will be there to extend a welcoming hand after the first three tracks have overloaded the EQ spectrum.

No Joy's previous album Wait to Pleasure never got the immersive treatment from me. I stuck it on a 2013 playlist, and only heard it in passing. The band don't operate like this. You have to turn it up, relax, and be patient. I generally get upset when people don't move their butts during a show, but these new songs give everyone a pass. 'Rude Films' has a bouncy groove worthy of Tame Impala, but the overarching style of arresting sonic layering usurps dancehall mobility. The band do stay melodic despite this, and it's not No Wave music. There's pop sensibility to the voice of Jasamine White-Gluz despite the fact that I have to reach with my ears to discern lyrics. On 'Corpo Daemon', a song that breaks up the haze for a stellar drum performance, the chorus unravels nicely as White-Gluz windingly sings "in the way/in the way." She could be saying "either way," but I feel like the specifics here are unimportant.

That being said, the ambiguity in the words adds mystery. Usually I get excited to hear personal stories come through the mix, but More Faithful gives me chills even when I can barely hear White-Gluz's rhetoric. Highlight 'Chalk Snake' reveals a quick lyric on the choruses before the drums step out of the time signature to quell ordinary pop sentiment. These percussive jolts are backed by a phenomenally employed drum machine; I'm so enveloped that I forget to decode anything apart from the Trent Reznor-inspired piano line that signals the song's coda and eventual end.

These songs are towards the middle of the album, which is a bit easier to digest than the first trio of tracks on the album. 'Remember Nothing' opens with a bang which, despite its evident intentionality, comes off as an aural attack. 'Everything New' is a little more inviting with koto-like guitar tones that make me wish it was the opener. The following 'Hollywood Teeth' serves more to clear the palette before the aforementioned 'Moon' pulls each instrument together in a peaceful collection. There's a slow pulse despite a morphing and puzzling beat that adds more hypnotic edge than louder moments elsewhere. The guitar arpeggios expand the psychedelic spiral, but only arrive for a brief moment around the one-minute mark. When they return to drag the song away, I can feel guitarist Laura Lloyd recognising how exquisite and teasing the line is.

'Judith' closes More Faithful with pummelling triplet kick tones and more unintelligible lyrics in a rather unceremonious fashion. No Joy are uncompromising to this end. If each of these eleven songs didn't deviate from their affective formula until now, there's not much reason to change it up. I do wish I could hear more lyrics and emotional sentiment, but I'm also smiling about White-Gluz's stubbornness as she cares more for her voice as an instrument (Admittedly, I wish there was more delay on the vocal track on 'Burial in Twos').

I'm not floored by every song here, but it's admirable how well each element is strung together; loose ends and rainy atmospheres included. What's more respectable is how non-traditional instrumentation is employed to the same purposes as a fuzz pedal. There's electronic drums that dominate 'Chalk Snake', but they're not distracting or harshly staccato. Even the sparse selection of piano and synth lines fail to detract from this post-chillwave ether. I still feel bad for No Joy's sound guy. But, if the tech can pull it off, their performances could be twice as gorgeous as the fleetingly beautiful moments that define this album.

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