I continue to think No Joy are the best current band at taking the familiar sound of shoegaze and turning it into something that feels fresh and new. More Faithful feels more stripped down than its predecessors, dropping some of the band’s massive guitar riffs and putting more emphasis on songcraft.
While some fans may miss the ear-splitting guitar maelstroms from some of their previous albums (*raises hand*), More Faithful impressively pushes the band in a new direction without fundamentally changing who they are. Jasamine White-Gluz’s vocals are more central to the songs now (though still not very decipherable), and Laura Lloyd’s guitar playing is more subtle while still having the noisy shoegaze sound that is key to the band’s chemistry.
While I’ve loved all their music, I think No Joy have often been perceived as a derivative band that is just cloning previous shoegaze artists. More Faithful shuts down a lot of those arguments and proves that the band can make original, exciting music within the shoegaze framework.