My Disco – Little Joy
Record Label: Temporary Residence
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Blossom. It's what any decent band will do. Any talented band will never stop blossoming. They'll never stop pushing themselves, even if that means losing older fans along the way. While this idea is most likely synonymous with many bands we hold high throughout the AP.net community, My Disco may not be the first band to come to mind. But as someone who has just been casually following the band for a few years, Little Joy is that record of growth and sharpening. While there are a few elements I miss from first listens of the band so far back, they're still staying just a bit unhinged. Much like the English post-punk movement of the '80s and retro-throwback happening in the new millennium with a few indie darlings, groove has always been alive and well among punks, and with My Disco, much hasn't changed for the better.
On Little Joy, we are given the band's third proper full-length of crescendos and post-punk to fill the brim of your rhythmic cup. Clocking in at under an hour, the album isn't going to be a quick fix, you have to flow with the album as it moves you. "Closer" is the best opener to ease you into it as well. Liam Andrews' monotone and horrendously creepy vocals set the bleak tone of Little Joy, which may have one riding high dance number following the opener with "Young," but even that takes a sharp left back into a sort of no-wave feel. When Andrews' vocals are backed with the work of Rohan Rebeiro's drums though, it's perfect. There is a minimalism seen in past My Disco albums (especially Paradise) that is just brought to perfection this time around. The tribal nature of "Turn" and "Sun Bear" back to back just bleed themselves into a two part song. But it's on "Rivers," the almost ten minute standout that hooks itself towards the end of the album, that really shows how far not only the band has come since the spasms of Collapse of an Erratic Lung and Language of Numbers, but how far they can push themselves in creating a sound and timbre beyond the expectations of a three piece.
As "Lil' Joy" crawls itself across the midpoint of the album, most listeners will find My Disco a tough one to get into, let alone have the patience for the quick fix that never comes. Much like the band's discography in general, Little Joy is new pair of shoes you have to comfortably break into. Best played as background for a while, you'll find yourself losing track of your tasks and picking out some beloved tracks and parts in time. Benjamin Andrews finesse on guitar should be the first element your brain connects with, and then the rest will slowly drown in My Disco's undertow. After one listen, if you're not bobbing your head in the slightest, you need to find out why your shoes have no sole.