Joyce Manor – “Cody”
A Review Of Joyce Manor's New Album "Cody"
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Continuously making a name for themselves, Joyce Manor is a punk band from Torrance California that has mastered the art of writing heartfelt punk music. The idea for the band came about in 2008 while members Barry Johnson and Chase Knobbe were drunk at DisneyLand. The pair played their first show as an acoustic duo opening for Andrew Jackson Jihad but soon went on to become a quartet. Since their formation Joyce Manor has put out four studio albums and several split EPs. The most recent of these, “Cody,” was released Oct. 7, 2016 via Epitaph Records.
“Cody” shows real growth from their prior release “Never Hungover Again.” The longer, more versatile songs that appear on “Cody” mark a departure for Joyce Manor from their classic short attacks of pure punk energy, and give listeners a chance to breathe during tracks. Clocking in at 24:32, “Cody” is the band’s longest release yet and even includes a track that is over four minutes long which is almost unheard of for a Joyce Manor song.
Together Johnson and Knobbe, along with bassist Matt Ebert and drummer Jeff Enzor created an extremely powerful and emotional album. With all of the band now entering their thirties, the song “Eighteen” reflects on an adolescence the members have left behind in a bitter sweet memory: “Everybody gets a little lonely sometimes / I feel so tongue tied / I feel so old today.”
“Do You Really Want To Not Get Better” is one of the slower songs on the LP and is a beautiful acoustic duet between Johnson and Phoebe Bridgers that blends flawlessly into the next track “Last You Heard Of Me.”
“Last You Heard Of Me” is incredibly haunting and upbeat at the same time. The song describes a split second when two people’s eyes meet and a love connection is felt, only to be broken a second later. Johnson delivers some of his most heartfelt vocals on this track “and in the moment I see everything / start to finish / sad defeat / shivering lying naked next to you / and that’s the last you heard of me.”
The landmark track on “Cody” is also the longest Joyce Manor song ever recorded. In “Stairs,” Johnson explores the very real notion that he is growing up. “Yeah I’m 26 and I still live with my parents / oh I can’t do laundry / Christ I can’t do dishes / what’ll I do without you?” When many punk bands are choosing to write songs as if they’re still teenagers, Johnson and the other members of Joyce Manor have shown a real amount of maturity moving on and writing about the life they are currently living and the fact that you aren’t “Eighteen” forever.
“Cody” is an impressive work of art, and while it may not live up to their fan favorite self titled LP in some people’s eyes, it shows expansive growth. The band has moved away from their roots and are flourishing in a new style. “Cody” is evidence that Joyce Manor has mastered the mix of pure punk passion and desperate emotion.
Listen to “Cody” here