Review Summary: This album should have been titled, Joyce Manor Learn How to Vary Their Damn Songwriting
Joyce Manor’s self-titled album was a breath of fresh air in the pop punk genre. Its messy and unfocused combination of lo-fi and abrasive punk with catchy pop sensibilities was a direct contrast to the overproduced and polished norm of the genre, and many couldn’t wait to see how they would follow it up. The disappointing follow-up, Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired
was an absolute failure. It was hardly eleven minutes long but seemed to drone on and on with its repetitive and boring nature. So, it would be completely understandable if you didn’t have the highest of expectations for the newest addition to their catalog. But there was no reason to worry, as Never Hungover Again
is one of the best punk albums to come out this year.
One of the best qualities Joyce Manor has always had was their tendency to keeps songs (and albums) short and to the point. There was never a moment where a song felt overly long, or dragged out. That trend continues on Never Hungover Again
. The album rushes along at an easy 19 minutes long, and not a single song or idea overstays its welcome. The guitarists do an exceptional job of crafting interesting melodies and riffs to catch your attention, and then falling to the background when necessary while avoiding boring and repetitious rhythms and notes. But it’s lead vocalist Barry Johnson who steals the show. Every line he sings absolutely begs you to scream along at the top of your lungs along with him, and you want to. Whether it’ to your current life, or a time when you were younger and going to basement shows with your friends and sweating and screaming along with the bands playing, Johnson demands that you relate to him. His vocal performance may steal the show, but every song is instrumentally varied, lyrically fascinating, and almost unbearably catchy. If you are a fan of Joyce Manor, or punk in any of its many forms, you owe it to yourself to pick this record up.
Stream it here: