By Marvin Dotiyal, Staff Writer
[Grey Market; 2017]
Key Tracks: “Hellhole”, “Tearing Apart the Dark”
Take a short trip through the psychedelic minds of Canadian shoegaze duo No Joy in their latest EP, Creep. The EP starts out with “Califone”, a generic dream-pop track. The song isn’t bad at all, but its mediocre sound is nothing special. Perhaps this opener is just a warmup for the weirder tracks on the EP that follow.
The opening atmosphere of “Hellhole” is so ethereal it gradually morphs Jasmine White-Gluz’s soothing vocals into a portal of psychedelic disarray. Followed by a subtle buildup, a gurgling, distorted guitar brings in the tension. Shortly after, the song returns to right back to the beautiful voices and the sweet melody.
“Tearing Apart the Dark” is the ultimate “punk meets shoegaze” track of the EP. No Joy is known for incorporating dream pop and shoegaze elements with rude punk riffs, and this track encapsulates their craft. The song starts off with an early ‘90s, horror punk-inspired riff with eerie vocals. However, it abruptly shifts to a peaceful, trance-like aura. The beauty of this song lies in its bipolar nature; it contrasts between chaos and serenity.
The final track, “Fluorescent Dread”, ends the EP with a space-like experience. Accompanied by an up-tempo, ‘80s-inspired drum beat and an ambitious bass line, the song feels like a soundtrack for zooming through celestial bodies in outer space. The song is instrumental; however, you’ll still hear echoey voices cut through the sound effects.
No Joy is no stranger to distorted punk guitars and heavily reverberated vocals, but Creep feels a little out of place in their discography. The sound established throughout the EP is a slight drift from their definitive sound, but not experimentally innovative either. Nevertheless, Creep is a fairly enjoyable record with memorable and unique songs that will perhaps unleash your inner psychedelia.