Continuing the band’s tradition of short but sweet records, Joyce Manor return with their fourth record Cody, displaying an act who are maturing as fast as one of their songs can finish.
By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)
When Joyce Manor hit out with Never Hungover Again, a rip roaring pop-punk fuelled record full to the brim with angst and emotional transparency, the band managed to solidified themselves as one of the most entertaining rock outfits around, a view that had been upheld by their fans from as early as their debut record. With Cody, the band’s fourth record to date, the momentum hasn’t been dampened despite a few changes, one of the most important having to do with the group’s dynamic, swapping out drummer Kurt Walcher for Jeff Enzor.
Having recorded the album over two months with new producer Rob Schnapf, it’s no surprise that Cody is just as tight and compact as the rest of Joyce Manor’s discography, if not more so. There’s still the introspective lyrics that deal with some common themes such as romance as well as touching on some more personal ones like on Angel in the Snow where vocalist Barry Johnson harks on about “staying at home all day, afraid to live my life”. While Never Hungover Again felt more unstable and aggressive at times, Cody gives the impression of a band mastering their craft, coming across as more benevolent as they ever have before.
There may be less thrashing but Joyce Manor haven’t stripped back any audacity that they’ve displayed before and certainly don’t hold the listener’s hand, especially on the opening track Fake ID which, while having a silly line about Kanye West, ends on a pretty harrowing few lines. Cody may be over as soon as it has started but it’s a record fuelled by an act who haven’t lost sight of what they’re good at and a record that definitely benefits from repeated listens.