Album Review: Joyce Manor – “Cody”

Joyce Manor have hemmed in a formula — no, wait. An essence. Yeah, that’s more like it. An essence that redefines the notion of what we think we know, or who we think we know, as the best punk act around. Forget the sub-genres. The melodic. The skate. The hardcore. The pop. When it comes to punk, maybe you’d like it with a little crust, but personally, the sweeter it is…the more digestible.

Never Hungover Again WAS their best work until this. Phenomenal in how Epitaph polished them up, smoothened out their rough (yet awesome) edges and put them out there for the world to bask in. Pop-punk at its best. Cody, however, dials things slightly back to an era away from young adulthood and to the wonder years of young teens — where you’re even more uncertain and awkward about yourself and life in general. Cody emphasizes that Joyce Manor is our generation’s Weezer. Appealing to the mainstream with simple, melodic and catchy rhythms. “Fake ID” is just one of these songs as they unleash another army of foot-tapping singalong anthems. The bouncy “Angel In The Snow” is another with the lead singer of fun. in Nate Ruess on back-up vocals. Ambitious, right? He knows what’s up.

Joyce Manor show you’re never too old to make teenage music and even music about loving Kanye West.So yeah, they still don’t take themselves too seriously. And they convey so much in these two-minute bursts but rest assured, they don’t play it safe. “Stairs” is a four minute jam of self-deprecation for fans of Jimmy Eat World, in the band’s longest disc to date, and they mix it up even more with “Do You Really Want To Get Better?” — which sees vocalist Barry Johnson pour his heart out acoustically. Even the downtrodden strumming on “Last You Heard Of Me” adds new layers, depth and dimension to their game — and it should because it’s a bass-heavy emo-punk gem. Same can be said for the unconventional, buzzy “Make Me Dumb.” These tracks contrast what you think would unfold. Enough of me praising this album. That’s seconds wasting away where you’re not taking in a masterpiece. Cody is undoubtedly my record of the year, surpassing expectations and the high bar this band consistently sets.

5/5 Stars

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