by Joyce Manor
- Record Label: Epitaph
- Release Date: Oct 7, 2016
- Summary: The fourth full-length release for the California pop-punk band led by Barry Johnson was produced by Rob Schnapf.
- Record Label: Epitaph
- Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Emo-Pop, Punk Revival
- More Details and Credits »
|Tell me what more could she want to be A super hot friend with a fake I.D She takes off her clothes and hands them to me And what she did next I...||See the rest of the song lyrics|
Positive: 14 out of 16
Mixed: 2 out of 16
Negative: 0 out of 16
Kerrang!Oct 6, 2016It's initially odd that the songs lack the immediacy the band are known for, but once the new-found intricacies reveal themselves and the lengthier structures click, the pay-off is huge. [8 Oct 2016, p.52]
Oct 11, 2016At times, it’s painful, and others, it’s cathartic. The fun, party-filled days of Never Hungover Again may be over, but by the end of Cody, Joyce Manor reminds us that it’s ok to get older.
Oct 6, 2016A brief but superb collection, this cements them as one of the most compelling acts in their genre.
Oct 12, 2016[Producer Rob Schnapf has] recentered the band’s urgency from its head-rush musical intensity to Mr. Johnson’s voice, which is clearer and more melodically driven than before. The songs have more structure, too.
Oct 12, 2016Cody finds a more grown-up Joyce Manor, but every track contains enough blunt expressions of existential despair to tie them to their angsty past.
Oct 6, 2016The transitional record nails the discomfort of feeling out of place or unsure of yourself. Imperfect but impassioned, Joyce Manor astutely capture uncertainty and anxiety throughout Cody.
Oct 6, 2016Barry Johnson still knows how to write a sharp hook; they are just dulled by the lifeless production and the cookie-cutter approach. Only a couple of the tracks land.
Positive: 2 out of 2
Mixed: 0 out of 2
Negative: 0 out of 2
Jul 13, 2018This is my favorite Joyce Manor album. You can fight me on that or we could crack open a few cold ones and listen to some Joyce.
Oct 16, 2016Anyone who has followed Joyce Manor’s trajectory leading up to their fourth album, Cody, probably should not be surprised by what is theirAnyone who has followed Joyce Manor’s trajectory leading up to their fourth album, Cody, probably should not be surprised by what is their most refined effort to date.
In 2014, the Torrance, California band signed to Epitaph to record their stellar crossover record, Never Hungover Again which straddled the line between punk and pop-punk so seamlessly to the affection of older and newer fans alike.
During that same year, Joyce Manor frontman Barry Johnson took a staunch stance against stagediving at their shows – at times, Johnson and company would abruptly stop playing to call out fans who would attempt it, citing safety concerns -- and backing it up with actual injuries they had witnessed at their shows. Call it sacrilegious all you want, but give credit to guys who truly give a **** about their fans.
And leading up to Cody, Joyce Manor dropped their lead single “Fake I.D.” which took a more methodical approach to what we have become accustomed to hearing from Joyce Manor. A relatively stark contrast from the immediate distorted guitars and snarling vocals of Johnson which was so prevalent on earlier Joyce Manor records, “Fake I.D.” begins with a longer, drawn out intro and the lyrics also take an aim at pop-culture. In particular, Johnson namedrops Kanye West on the first chorus (even if it’s sung quoting a girl he is about to hook up with, the reference itself is still enough to be considered eyebrow raising to traditional fans).
Between a major label deal, taking a staple maneuver out of punk shows, and mentioning the most mainstream/household rap artist you can probably think of -- there was enough probable cause to assume that Cody could have been the bands’ most polarizing piece of work to date.
And the result could not have been more sharply executed, when it could have easily gone awry, as Joyce Manor comes through with an accessible collection of tunes that transitions the band into a new era. Gone are the days of their early, thrashy blend of punk as the band fully makes the leap to the sleeker side of production and instrumentation – while still retaining a good deal of their punk intangibles to quell any thought of “selling out” that you may have.
The fourth-wave of emo, the term given to the last handful of years to the genre, has now brought many of its heavyweights into the state-of-the-art technology that big label studios can offer. Modern Baseball’s Holy Ghost was the band’s first non-self-recorded album, which put the finer touches the band was missing on prior work. The Front Bottoms’ 2015 Back on Top also saw the band go the way of tighter production with electric guitars and a slew of different instruments in turn for their classic electric-acoustic style that served the basis in which most of their songs were predicated on.
And now, Joyce Manor becomes one of the last to fully make the switch. And like the themes Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms displayed on their latest releases, Joyce Manor also enter a point in which they are growing up. Three of the four members of Joyce Manor all turned 30 in October, making them some of the oldest on the fourth wave scene.
And with turning the big “Three-Oh”, Joyce Manor has now seen enough time pass for them to reflect on their past. “Eighteen” looks back with hindsight of the awkwardness of being a teenager and the dreadful anxiety of being tongue-tied, and experiencing a feeling of **** I’m old”, when thinking back on it.
Joyce Manor has never sounded so catchy on “Angel in the Snow”; invoking a head swaying guitar lead while Johnson feels the innocence of his youth slip away while constantly trying to make sense of the things humans will desperately do to give our lives some semblance of feeling alive.
The middle part of the album features a track slightly upwards of one minute on “Do You Really Want to Not Get Better?”, a normal run-time for Joyce Manor, but in acoustic fashion. The song details the stubbornness of a loved one’s refusal to recover from drug/alcohol addiction.
The album picks back up with their second single, “Last You Heard of Me” and doesn’t look back. The ladder half of the album features some of the most honest songwriting Johnson has ever done. “Stairs”, which clocks in at a little over four minutes, which at one point in time may have seemed inconceivable for Joyce Manor, has Johnson at his best. “I’m 26 and I still live with my parents // Hell, I can’t do laundry // Christ, I can’t do dishes”, is the most self-aware and resonating statement for anybody who is stuck in stagnation and continually not being able to muster up the motivation to do anything about it. The album’s last track “This Song is a Mess but so am I” serves as a reinforcement to Johnson’s hard time with moving forward in life, as Joyce Manor concludes their longest album to date at 24 minutes.
Although the consistency of Cody is what makes this such an enjoyable listen, “Make Me Dumb” is the only time where a vintage, quick hitter from Joyce Manor could have served as an alternative and breath of fresh air. The lone low-point on the album features uninspired guitar chords and lyrics that sound like it was hastily thrown together as filler.
The perfect balance of crisp production and the end of Joyce Manor’s short, punky songwriting style displayed on Never Hungover Again proved to be a precursor for what was to become on Cody. The band is now equipped with a greater sense of production and songwriting ability which will most likely open them up to more avenues to explore moving forward. But Joyce Manor aren’t reinventing themselves; they’re simply evolving. Cody may benefit from sharp studio work but Joyce Manor continue to prove why they have become such a loved band among emo/pop-punk/whatever you want to call it fans. Joyce Manor are as true to themselves as they have ever been on Cody, and it’s the reason this album has garnered fondness from most critics and fans.
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