Joss If Not For the Hovering…

Not to be confused with current British soul sensation Joss Stone, Joss is a three-piece specialising in a mix of indie rock and slowcore that has some highpoints, but really drags and meanders, rather than inspires. Low points are hit on second track "MM,” where vocals are delivered in an atonal sung/spoken style that detracts from any music in the background, but fifth track "Mooncake” ups the tempo and a good groove is found, showing some sparks of life. More indie rock than slowcore, the singing improves to be akin to a dark country waltz and it proves to be the best track on the album. "Gingko” is another lulling slice of inoffensive indie rock, but nothing to raise any goose bumps, which shouldn’t be the aim of any successful band going for slow, sad music. Closing out with the heavy, plodding "Good Grace” and "Helicopter,” there are moments of beauty intermingled with throwaway musical moments, but again, inspiration seems to be a stone’s throw away. For fans of slowcore only, others best to find their starting point elsewhere. (Delmore)