Joyce Manor
Million Dollars To Kill Me


4.0
excellent

Review

by chris. USER (49 Reviews)
September 21st, 2018 | 73 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Everybody wants to tell a story; Everybody's scared of saying nothing

By now, Joyce Manor has solidified their position in the punk landscape as the go-to band for some cool and simple catchy songs. All there is to say about their blurring of the line between emo and pop-punk has already been said; the choruses they write are both direct and infectious, their songs short and straight to the point yet sounding grand all the same. If I were more pessimistic, I would be saying right now that the band’s shtick could only get more boring and uninspired following the same old formula four albums in. That’s when Million Dollars To Kill Me turns on its heels, says “hold on a minute now”, and pleasantly surprises the hell out of me for a lean 23 minutes.

Side A of this album further continues down the sound of good old 90’s power pop that the band presented with Cody, but hones it down to the point where all (not just most) the songs flow and not feel bloated or dragged on. Opener “Fighting Kangaroo” along with singles “Million Dollars to Kill Me” and “Think I’m Still in Love With You” are the best of examples, as they come with crunchy guitar tones and sing along choruses that could get any drunk crowd going. “I’m Not The One” is an amazing track in that it’s an acoustic one that, unlike on the previous record, doesn’t break the flow of the album and actually feels fleshed out and progressed. Frontman Barry Johnson’s lyrics haven’t gotten any more profound but many lines are still humorous and poetic in their own little, special way. “Dog at the door who’s the king of hardcore because he’s always been; Booking the shows where they sell the most clothes cause they’re so limited” specifically got a chuckle out of me, due to Barry’s delivery being both a little melancholy and tongue in cheek.

Side B is where Joyce Manor decide to have a little fun and throw some curveballs our way. “Silly Games” comes out the gate sounding like an old forgotten Beach Boy or Beatles track, with Barry Johnson crooning over a pillowy melody and acoustic guitar gently backing him until the song opens up a little more. “Friends We Met Online” is a cheeky little fun track that’s reminiscent of 80’s new wave. “Gone Tomorrow” and closer “Wildflowers” are big highlights, with the former showcasing some surprisingly poignant lyrics and a massive soundscape that just steals your focus away while the latter is as direct as it gets with Barry Johnson playing around with his higher range with a bouncy and innocent melody. If Side A was the band repurposing their previous album’s sound into something more tightly written and performed, Side B is where the band really decides to open up and experiment a little more.

While Joyce Manor hasn’t gotten any rawer sounding since their previous outing, they have tightened up the song writing and planted their focus firmly in the ground. Each song feels trim and fatless, yet fleshed out and fully realized. That alone makes Million Dollars To Kill Me a welcome surprise and improvement from the band, which as of right now can go a great number of different directions from here on out.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
McTime50
September 21st 2018


884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

new day new review.



living with lions or advance base tomorrow, depends on what i listen to and get done.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2018


56886 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nice nap tunes

McTime50
September 21st 2018


884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Treb why you gotta be so mean

ZombieToyDuck
September 21st 2018


7076 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review! I noticed a few little things though.



"sing along choruses that could any drunk crowd going."

that could get any



"crooning an pillowly melody"

crooning over a pillowly melody?

that phrasing sounded off just a suggestion!



gotta check this out myself though, have a pos!

DarkHorizontal
September 21st 2018


133 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This used to be my go-to band for this kind of thing, but ever since I found Pup I've never gone back. Cody was really lame, but I should try this one out I suppose.

WatchItExplode
September 21st 2018


7026 Comments


this is like Weezer swallowed a fistful of Quaaludes

Kurai
September 21st 2018


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Probably need to give this a few more listens, but I really dig this album. My only complaint is that the last three tracks are a little dull and drag the whole thing down a tiny bit. Friends We Met Online is a banger though.

McTime50
September 21st 2018


884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The pace does slow down but the last two songs are super pretty/good

Clumseee
September 21st 2018


1417 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Most OK band in the genre.

Evrimen
September 21st 2018


148 Comments


"Most OK band in the genre"

Lol tell that to the Self Titled

onionbubs
September 21st 2018


11705 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

dammit



friends we met online is good at least

Digging: Ghost Atlas - All Is In Sync, and There's Nothing Left to Sing

Clumseee
September 21st 2018


1417 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Tbh I don't even think the s/t is super special. It's a lot of good songs, and only one great song (Constant Headache).

JayEnder
September 21st 2018


4930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really liked the closer to this.

Digging: Shadow of Intent - Melancholy

keza
September 21st 2018


399 Comments


This review has me intrigued after hating Cody. Gotta give it a shot. Also you've got a clear knack for writing - this review is equal parts natural and professional. Pos'd!

onionbubs
September 21st 2018


11705 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

there’s nothing to like about this if you hated cody

ianblxdsoe
September 21st 2018


1916 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great review! hopefully this one's a grower for me. a lot of the second half is way more entertaining than the first. the songwriting's stronger, but the energy's not nearly as present anymore, even compared to Cody. "Friends We Met Online" is easily the best track imo.



also pos'd !

onionbubs
September 21st 2018


11705 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yea friends we met online sorta rules

cheapcrayon
September 21st 2018


69 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Everybody thinks s/t is their best album, but it's really Never Hungover Again. Looking forward to listening to this, but pretty much just expecting another Cody. So probably like 3.0-3.5.

McTime50
September 21st 2018


884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

that's the first half of this album, second half has some more different tunes

luci
September 21st 2018


11490 Comments


looks bland as fuck. cody was a 2.5 for me, in no rush to check this



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