Joywave – Angst and bluster from a brooding bunch

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Artist: Joywave
Genre: Alternative
Label: Universal/Hollywood Records

New York's Joywave are a brooding bunch. Perched halfway between Interpol and Bloc Party with a dash of NIN added to the mix, they make the kind of angst-ridden distortion soaked bluster that will have some listeners pining for the angular fringe they chopped off in 2007. This, their second offering after 2015's How Do You Feel Now? ,traces the same pattern of suffocating weariness and mental anguish. The stark title track attempts to navigate the space between being "content" and the modern obsession with empty "content" that fills our daily lives, which is all a bit Radiohead-lite. Conditions fail to improve when singer Daniel Armbruster, who sounds alarmingly like Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor (sans fun), opines the trials of fame on the bruising Doubt. It sounds a little bit trite never mind presumptuous from a band yet to make their mark.