I’ve always had this non-musically trained inkling that Shoegaze bands are, by all rights, best served by female members. I also assume that fans/lovers of The Jesus And Mary Chain (me included, I’m slightly schizo) would have much to say rebutting such a ridiculous notion.
OK, male bands can also do Shoegaze, but, the form is tailored to the feminine temperament.
Shoegaze’s ethereal drone, its dense effusion of sounds filtered through a narrow ironic funnel that spits out a mesmerizing stream of collective sound (aka, noise)…the form screams for the female voice. By the voice, I mean the soul, the innate tragedy of the female.
Shoegaze, the form: aloof, worried, fretting, disconnected from admirers, while fumbling and dying within one’s own striving to express to the wall of unseen eyes. The cumulative, critical mass that the restrained background-like wailing of Shoegazing’s ambivalent cannon missiles on its listeners is an elemental female siren call cloaked and threaded within the merciless loudness that is the fabric of that unique Shoegaze auditory and disordered assault on our ears.
This month represents the 5-year anniversary of No Joy, one of my favorite “shoegaze” bands. The band was cobbled together in a somewhat bi-coastal manner by two founding members, Laura Lloyd from Montreal, and Jasamine White-Gluz from Los Angeles. They joined long-distance forces to create No Joy, and eventually, added drummer Garland Hastings, the only guy in the group, though it seems a fourth male interloper will pop his head in for live performances and studio work.
No Joy is girl power!
It is girl nihilism, the ending of an evolutionary epoch. That’s what they represent to me.
Unlike Courtney Love’s thrashing, masculine fuckyou-ity (which I loved), No Joy’s Lloyd, singing from the female perch of utter momentum-fed frenzy and disembodied despair, laces No Joy’s music with a persistent, apocalyptic female inward spiral that promises to bring us all down with it.
For women alone can doom our society.
From the despairingly maudlin lament of “He Cried” …
…to the stark necessities of self-destruction in “Hare Tarot Lies,” wrought with pagan rhythms of death (and the only music video with puking I’ve ever seen).
No Joy celebrates the female devolution of this madding world.