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'More Faithful' is No Joy's third full-length for Mexican Summer, and bears the fruits of a band that redefined its work ethic in the gulf of time between recording sessions. The outcome - the juxtaposition of unrest and calm, beauty and chaos, truth and fantasy, in the throes of dimed amps and hair-whipping guitar goddess rock music - is as unwavering as ever. But where 'Wait To Pleasure' (2013) balanced textural differences with the freewheeling novelty of the studio environment, 'More Faithful' documents a much more rigorous creative process and performance, one in which the group pushed themselves to new peaks of intensity. All of the record's 11 songs, in whole or in part, jump at the listener with atypical tunings and key changes, tension from odd time signatures and an upfront rhythmic presence, and the force demonstrated in their live show. Listen to More Faithful then listen to it again. There is no question that it's the most forward, throttling record No Joy has made to date, taking their set of influences to the wall in a brazen display of beauty-laced power. At times it's heavier than anything they've done yet, and also their fastest, riffs shooting upward in discord and drifting down in angelic harmonies. Shoegaze and ethereal and alternative rock revivals be damned; 'More Faithful' pushes No Joy to the breaking point. They've leveled up.
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