For Fans Of
Joyce Manor have managed to garner an underground cult status without really being around for a very long time. With three albums in the four years since their creation however, the hard work is obviously paying off.
Third record, ‘Never Hungover Again’, keeps the rough-around-the-edges feel of the band’s garage style pop-rock but adds in a twinge of indie rock sheen, more than likely thanks to the mixing skills of Joe Reinhardt who usually works with groups such as M83 and Phoenix.
The band gets things sorted quickly with the whole album starting and finishing in under twenty minutes, opening with the stomping ‘Christmas Card’, a song that if you close your eyes could be You Am I thanks to a pretty similar melody. Similarities aside, the track is an energetic introduction with vocals pushed to their breaking point and thrashing chords that maintain an airy sense of recklessness, present in the entire record.
Equally, there is a swaying sense of pop in tracks like ‘End of the Summer’, which be it not for the fuzzed out guitars could be considered pure radio bait, but the band is careful to keep their live recording feel and carefree imperfections to give everything a sense of realism.
With themes of sadness and loneliness overrunning the lyrical content it would be easy to be super bummed out by this record but the instrumentation keeps things on the bright and fun side to save from complete despair. ‘Heart Tattoo’ for example, takes a punk rock route and less serious tone as it is quite simply about getting a heart tattoo.
The best parts are saved for the end, however, with the blistering ‘Catalina Fight Song’, an album standout thanks to its riff heavy assault, pounding drums and screamed vocals. This is Joyce Manor at their heaviest without losing any of their melody and charm.
‘Never Hungover Again’ is too short to overstay its welcome and too busy to not be completely charming. Joyce Manor’s most solid release so far.
1. Christmas Card
2. Falling in Love Again
3. End of the Summer
6. Heart Tattoo
7. The Jerk
8. In The Army Now
9. Catalina Fight Song
10. Heated Swimming Pool