On the hottest day of the summer (so far), “no joy” was an apt way to describe the crowded, sweltering streetcar journey and sweat-inducing walk to Lee’s Palace. Thankfully, the venue had fully employed its air conditioning and was only modestly attended when Montreal band No Joy took the stage.
Based out of Montreal, the band consists of singer/guitarist Jasamine White-Gluz and guitarist Laura Lloyd, accompanied by a drummer and bassist.
As the supporting act for Baltimore band Lower Dens, No Joy played a super tight 30-minute set. The band performed with little interaction with the audience, hunched over and brandishing their instruments with long hair curtaining their faces like shields. Being the odd one out without long hair, the drummer wore a green reptilian monster mask to cover his face.
It’s unknown if it was due to time constraints or a demonstration of a “we don’t give a shit” attitude, but the band barely paused between each song. Literally no words were uttered, other than lyrical delivery. Instead, the sustained sounds of distortion and feedback drowned out any semblance of applause from the audience, before promptly launching into the next song.
What they lacked in stage presence, No Joy made up for with musical prowess and face-melting noise rock. On record, you get an idea of how loud this band can get – with their ample use of distortion and shoegazer leanings. Take this idea and multiply it tenfold. No Joy’s live performance also throws grungy, 90s-inspired guitar sounds into the mix and turns it up loud. The drummer was visibly pounding the living daylights out of his drum set and at an astounding speed, at that. The 30-minute set had my ears ringing afterwards; a full-length headlining set could have the potential to deafen (in a good way? Note to self: wear earplugs to shows more often).