Words About Music
Joyce Manor “Never Hungover Again”
Pop punk is one of the most hated genres in the modern musical scope, and rightfully so. Most of the time, it feels like emo’s wimpier, happier little brother that hasn’t experienced all the world’s tragedies. Some bands bring an interesting sound to the poppy punky table, though. Joyce Manor is one of those bands. Probably the best of those bands actually. The music they make is short, sweet, and to the point. It’s also thoughtful, catchy, and melodic. It’s a sad, sappy, nostalgic sound that appears to have peaked on their new album “Never Hungover Again,” the third record in what I hope is a long line in albums.
Joyce Manor specializes in short albums. Every full-length album they’ve ever released has been about 20 minutes long. Rather than let this limit them, the band uses it to their advantage. They make 2-minute 3-chord pop-punk songs that are dense, catchy as all hell, and as lyrically intricate as any emo song. It’s great to hear a band be simultaneously simple and thought-provoking. They do so much with this formula that it doesn’t seem even possible that this band is as good as it is. Even people who don’t like pop punk or emo can probably find something to enjoy about this band. It’s like early blink-182 meets Cloud Nothings and Japandroids.
I could spend all day telling you about how much I enjoy this album. It seriously amazes me that I’m finding so much to enjoy with so little. This is how bands should go about making albums. So many bands jerk themselves off into the land of needlessly complex instruments and production. Joyce Manor does what they do well. It’s stripped down and a ton of fun. Few pop punk bands find a way to do an album like this and actually be likable and memorable, at least in my opinion. Maybe it’s because they maintain the punk aesthetic that I so respect and love.
If you’re looking for a fun summer listen, then I think “Never Hungover Again” is perfect. Feeling sad on a beautiful, hot day? Crank this album up and 20 minutes later you’ll feel like you went through every negative emotion you’ll ever need and come out positive on the other side. It’s cathartic, enticing, and the most compelling piece of music the band has ever released. Rock and roll is rarely as fun as this album. I just hope Joyce Manor don’t get too comfortable and tire out the good thing they have going. Here’s hoping.
SCORE – 9.0
FAVORITE TRACKS – Like all of them