Joyce Manor

Never Hungover Again

Written by: PP on 04/09/2014 22:24:14

After debuting with a buzzing self-titled album that spoke all kinds of sweet words to the ears of early Alkaline Trio fans, Joyce Manor took a few steps back on sophomore "Of All The Things I Will Soon Grow Tired" two years ago. The record was missing the overspilling chaos of melody, lo-fi production and messy distortion that made the debut album such a difficult yet ultimately rewarding listen, or at least it wasn't present to the same extent. The band seemed to have an identity crisis; they weren't sure if they should write slower songs or go back into being a punk rock band. I get that; you don't want to write the same album again, but at the same time, sometimes it's for the best. Third album "Never Hungover Again" isn't exactly "Joyce Manor" redux, but it's a huge step back into that direction and returns Joyce Manor into the radar for fans of raw, buzzing punk rock.

From the anthemic sing along tunes of "End Of The Summer", which echoes strong influence from Tigers Jaw's self-titled album, to the chaotic uptempo and melodic jigsaw soundscapes of "Victoria", you can almost taste the energy of the band on each song. Emotion is pouring through the microphone in vocals that might sound whiny/off-tune at first, but have the same passion and sense for angsty melancholia as the best Tigers Jaw songs. Still, the noisy warmth of early Alkaline Trio is at play here, creating purposefully untight and unpolished instrumentation, but that's part of what makes the band charming. The DIY style production, the lo-fi riffage, the heartfelt croons of "Heart Tattoo", that's what make Joyce Manor songs work. And with the intentional positioning sonically between the two bands mentioned in this review, they are also starting to carve their own identity, which translates into songs with emotional prowess and urgency that's nothing like their sophomore album offered (or lacked to offer, rather).

But even though the catchy sing-along melodies of "Heart Tattoo", "The Jerk", "Victoria", "Christmas Card" and others are great, the band peaks at the last track of the album, "Heated Swimming Pool". It's just under two minutes, but it showcases everything that makes Joyce Manor a great band for any FEST fans out there. It's noisy, full of warmth, feels like it has energy even though the tempo isn't quite as high, but most of all, there's an emotional charge that makes the song stick out and connect with its listener. It's like listening to a Tigers Jaw song back when the band wrote some of their best material - and that's a compliment if anything in this genre. 19 minutes is all it takes for a memorable album when you know what you're doing.


Download: Heated Swimming Pool, End Of The Summer, Victoria, Christmas Card, Heart Tattoo
For the fans of: Alkaline Trio, Tigers Jaw, The Menzingers
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.07.2014

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