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No Joy – Wait to Pleasure album review

Shoegazing is a genre that I’ve always been ambivalent about. Sometimes, depending on the artist, I am underwhelmed and bored. Other times, the distortion and muddled vocals really work for me. Overall, though, I like the idea behind shoegazing. I am drawn in by the thought of being lost in a sea of sound. When I find a shoegazing album that I truly enjoy, I can listen to it for hours on end because there’s always something new to hear. There are new patterns to discover, new melodies you didn’t notice before.

No Joy’s latest album, Wait to Pleasure is an example of one of those albums. The Canadian duo really knows how shoegazing is done. The guitar riffs are dirty and distorted, the melodies are sublimely psychedelic, and the voices are ethereal. Wait to Pleasure is that perfect state where the listener is entranced, but not bored. A lot of this has to do with the expert arrangement of the tracks. You start out with “E,” which is dark and intriguing and maybe even a little foreboding. Then you get “Hare Tarot Lies,” which is almost serene in comparison. The whole album plays out this way: it’s an auditory roller coaster that has the hypnotic, rapturous qualities, but escapes the risk of boredom.

The most alluring track on Wait to Pleasure is “Lunar Phobia,” a song that reminds me of an alt girl band of the early 90s. Unlike most songs in the shoegazing genre, “Lunar Phobia” doesn’t really throw a wall of sound at you. It’s more open, and it gives you room to breathe. The bass is strong, the vocals are angelic; it’s all very catchy and straightforward. I think it’s probably a good primer for anybody new to the shoegazing scene. It’s not the most true to the genre, but it’s something that could almost be commercial-friendly.

Wait to Pleasure is great for those of us who are not completely committed to shoegazing. It’s a wonderful example of the genre and could possibly even attract a few converts. The most captivating thing about this album is how the ladies of No Joy can obviously shred, but it’s presented in such a tranquil, comfortable way. In my personal opinion, that’s kind of what shoegazing is about: rocking out comfortably. Wait to Pleasure is the perfect combination of depth, tranquility, and rock.

By Whitney Liberty

Born in Michigan and living in Chicago, Whitney is passionate about music, writing, cooking, and any combination of the three.

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