Now, let me start by saying that this isn’t really a review as such, it’s not a critical essay and it’s certainly not objective. It’s hard to be that objective about a band that you ABSOLUTELY FUCKING LOVE!!! There’s no point denying it, I’ve just been listening to this at work and even through the tinny speakers of my shitty laptop which render even the most perfectly produced pieces of music basically unlistenable this still sounds immense. I don’t know what any of the tracks are called just yet and I haven’t had much of a chance to catch the lyrics properly but they’re very good, really simple but brilliantly put together, quite poignant at times actually. I also can’t really draw lots of comparisons with other bands, nor would I want to because that’s how YouTube arguments frequently start and what’s the point anyway? I read an Amazon review of the new Cloud Nothings album where this fucking asshole just compared them at great length to Interpol and their first album. I suspect that the cretinous fool had only ever bought two albums in his life and for him they represented the complete pantheon of available music so it was only right that they be inextricably linked, but anyway I digress….
I bought the first album and loved it, second album is a little more tricky to get in to but still brilliant, this one is off the chain. I don’t know whether the title refers to the fact that they’ve all gone sober and more focussed and I couldn’t care less as long as they keep making this awesome music. They’ve signed to Epitaph and obviously decided to just fucking go for it with some of the catchiest songs Bad Tripe has ever heard. Really amazing melodies which literally grip you by the scrotum for about two minutes, and then release it, and then grab it again. Amazing. I’m not the first person to say that there’s a strong Pop-Punk Smiths-like quality to the songs on this album which I’ve certainly never picked up on before, I think it’s some of the lyrics, Barry Johnson’s vocals, and also the picking melodies of the guitars which do sound quite like Johnny Marr. Listen to ‘In the Army Now’ where I think this is most present. **Hey turns out I do know the names of the songs and I’ve gone back on my promise to not compare to other bands, what a douche I hear myself cry**
Here’s why I like Joyce Manor. They convey real emotion without sounding generically emo. They have also mastered the genre of pop punk, managing to be as catchy as 90’s Blink 182 without sounding in the least bit cheesy. They have that ‘we’re not really trying that hard’ vibe without just sounding lame, perfectly disaffected and yet straight from the heart at the same time. This is immediately my favourite album as I knew it would be. I’ve never got bored of their first two albums and, at only 19 minutes long I will definitely be listening to this about 75 times a day.
I don’t know if they’ve got a UK tour planned but I look forward to getting balls deep in to them (metaphorically of course) when they do decide to come over.