After a two and a half year wait, No Joy’s follow-up to Ghost Blonde is finally set for release on the 23rd April. The band’s debut was something rather exceptional. It was a blend of shoegaze with grunge undertones that simply created an amazing soundscape and vibe. Their sophomore release, Wait to Pleasure is the band’s first recording in a fully furnished studio. This is felt on the album; it has an array of layers that were never present on their previous material. Because of this, the band’s sound has changed considerably. They have all but abandoned their grunge edge, adopted a softer style of shoegaze and ventured deeper into dream and noise pop.
“E” and “Hare Tarot Lies” kick start the affairs in style. These are two belting songs that immediately set the tone, and prove that despite the band’s change in orientation, they can still provide energetic and edgy rock. “E” has an atmosphere that recalls euphoria, its multitude of layers and shoegaze coated dreaminess is something to behold. “Hare Tarot Lies” shifts into a darker ambiance, producing a full on dream pop approach. It’s a bit like something School of Seven Bells would do, but with an authenticity and an edge the Brooklyn band have yet to demonstrate. “Prodigy” continues in the same vein as its predecessor, it has a fine beat and there’s a lot going on within the layers, despite the apparent pop quality of the song. The album does dip a little with the extremely shoegazey “Slug Night” and “Blue Neck Riviera”. The highlight of the album “Lizard Kids” is the only song on the album that really feels like it could have been on Ghost Blonde, it has the grunge side that made the debut stand out. The band’s first single from the album, “Lunar Phobia” is an interesting song indeed, and really does sum up the sound of Wait to Pleasure. It is dreamy and exposes the album’s studio quality. The song drones on with its mix of electro inspired beats, dreamy vocals and Grimes-like chants, before breaking into fractured beats, allowing the band to fully delve into an electro vibe. “Ignored Pets” has a punk quality to it, which is definitely another interesting addition to the whole.
Borrowing a certain dreamy electro edge from acts like School of Seven Bells and Grimes, and having a sound closer to that of Curve rather than My Bloody Valentine, Wait to Pleasure is an unexpected follow-up to Ghost Blonde. And although purists may resent this change, ultimately, Wait to Pleasure is a great piece of music. It was always going to be a tough challenge to follow Ghost Blonde up in style, but I find that by reinventing themselves, No Joy have avoided being one of those bands that relentlessly try to recapture the essence of their previous work without success. Their new sound may come as a surprise, but Wait to Pleasure really does provide enjoyable dream pop that is sure to gather the act a few more fans.