No Joy Negaverse

No Joy Negaverse
Montreal's No Joy served up their 2010 debut album, Ghost Blonde, with some buzz off a co-sign by tourmates, labelmates and BFFs Best Coast. While Bethany and Bobb were right in their endorsement, Ghost Blonde was heavily overlooked, despite its determination to give tired shoegaze revivalism its pulse back. Live, No Joy exert a much rawer, vigorous rock posture, yet on their follow-up, Negaverse, they chose to use the studio to push their sonic ambitions even further. "Junior" opens with some Sonic Youth-inspired guitar abuse before launching into the type of distorted blizzard reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine's Creation EPs. "VHFD" immediately changes gears, employing a homemade hip-hop beat and smothering it with layers of drone and White-Gluz's ghostly whispers. They keep the surprises coming with "Shame Cave," which delivers simple organ riffs at a breakneck tempo, and "Yang Sanpanku," the closest thing imaginable to hearing Cocteau Twins' pristine, glassy production dirtied with interference. "Smiley Face" ends the EP on a rather anticlimactic note, leaving you with this feeling that there's more to come. Sadly, there isn't. The five songs come and go in a speedy 15 minutes, leaving you wondering what other directions they could push what is normally considered a one-dimensional sound. However, leaving the listener wanting more is always the best sort of grievance a band could ask for. (Mexican Summer)