Throughout More Faithful, No Joy seem to be a band determined to expand their sound beyond its shoegaze origins. Layering textures play a bigger role than layering guitar riffs this time around, with synths and punky breakdowns breaking apart the “The Dum Dum Girls Go Shoegaze” sound that permeated No Joy’s first two records. While not totally absent, the fuzz and reverb have been relegated to the background on much of this record, and with intriguing results.
“Everything New” and the ominously creepy “Bolas” manage to still feel like No Joy songs are supposed to feel, but with enough tweaks to the formula that they manage to sound fresh. The band’s desire to stretch their sound and challenge both themselves and the listener is apparent throughout More Faithful, and singer/guitarist Jasamine White-Gluz admitted they purposely tried to complicate things saying, “We wanted to think, I don’t know how to do that, or, That is uncomfortable to do, and then hopefully our discomfort would translate to the listener as well.”
Songs like “Chalk Snake” and “Burial In Twos” are massive and feel more akin to a band heading for the cosmos to “stargaze” rather than being content with simple shoegazing. What’s further impressive about the album is that although these songs sound bigger and are clearly more high-reaching, the album breezes by enjoyably, never feeling overwrought or weighted down by excessive ideas.
More Faithful is an ambitious affair, a “headphone record” that rewards repeat listens and one that plants No Joy firmly not just at the fore of today’s shoegaze scene, but an inventive overall rock band with a few more tricks up their sleeve. »
– Donovan Farley