Joyce Manor seem to have refound the magic that made their 2011 self-titled the stuff of dreams. The charm, the catchiness, the charisma and the energy is back in spades in an album that feels like a band that’s grown up and wiser in addressing those wasted days. Sharper, edgier and some of the most sprawling short bursts of pop-punk really make them shine in a light that supersedes all predecessors in a run-in that’s fit for record of the year.
Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired felt like too much of a deviation from the plan. It was good but missing the key elements of the band. That core’s highly evident here but still packed with new curveballs to make them even more appealing. “Falling In Love Again” feels like Robert Smith took a swipe at pop-punk which lends credence to how well the album is structured lyrically. It helps build the most assured and intelligent songwriting to date. Not to mention how raw the record sounds. So, so good.
“Schley” in its yells and throaty punk arena is another example. The lyrics float in between juvenile, mysterious and plain outlandish in a record that conversely feels very straightforward. Sharp, fast hooks, huge choruses and lovely swells make “Victoria” another sure hit and no doubt throws fans back to 2011 once more. Simple and minimalistic yet telling. “Heart Tattoo” is a bass-driven kickass jig that’s sure to be a contender for song of the year. That much fun in one song should be illegal. This particular musical structure seems to be slowed down in “The Jerk” which is yet again, another Joyce Manor classic. These are the songs you wanna mosh to live and in person. Again, they’re catchy and very addictive. Joyce Manor at their infective peak!
They temper the record well though with interludes here and there. “Heated Swimming Pool”, while as a closer, is a neat little ballad to add more diversity to the record but at the end of proceedings, it’s undeniable their flair. The record’s got substance, style and then some. It feels like progression while playing to their strengths. That’s enough to make them tick and if it’s one band who will exploit the shit out of this particular genre in the best way possible, it’s Joyce Manor. It’s for us who hate reform and conforming. Highly recommended.
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