Joyce Manor – 40 oz. To Fresno

  • Mark Cartwright posted
  • Reviews
Joyce Manor 40 Oz

Joyce Manor

40 Oz. To Fresno - Epitaph Records

On the last count, I do believe this will be Joyce Manor’s 6th full length, but don’t shoot the writer if this is not the whole truth.  Having songs that on this album at least only make it over 2 minutes twice, the term short but sweet, 100% says it exactly how it is with this modern pop-punk band.

So starting with the longest track on the album by quite a considerable margin, is actually genius, and its a cover too, ‘Souvenir’ originally by Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark, who by the way I saw live for the first time back in 1980 at a local venue that sits at the very heart of my musical and life history.  This song, when you have listened to the album as a whole, makes perfect sense being at the kick off, a song of personal obsessions that lead where they need to lead, there’s nothing cryptic in here as some may think, its simply an intention to do as you feel and never regret it.  Musically this song has so much in common with what Joyce Manor are pouring into their own work, simplicity of melody, yet as complex as you can get within such a short space of time (you’ll get this when you listen through about 5 times in succession like I have, yes its that good), What’s not lost in this version is the pure melodic beauty of this song, but with the addition of guitar and a less in your face synth hook and passionate vocal, the lyrics shine just that bit more.

Second track up is ‘NBTSA’ which apparently is a re-worked version of the last song ‘Secret Sister’, not that you would ever have got that (unless your an obsessive musical egg head), I’ll get to the latter later on, but in the meantime, ‘NBTSA’ is in comparison a minor side step from the previous song, from a killer pop track, to a full on killer punk Rock n Roll track, short but fully on the edge is what you can say about pretty much all of this album and this song doesn’t disappoint, stunningly crafted guitar riffs and hooks that are punctuated by a vocal delivery that screams listen.

Third up is what might be the ballad of the album, Weezer has entered the building the kings of pop punk ballads, in the form of ‘Reason To Believe’, that’s followed by Weezer is just leaving the building and wiping their feet on the way out,  ‘Your’e Not Famous Anymore’ is so much darker than it initially sounds, the flip side of what fame can do to you, in a perfectly formed musical overcoat.  Talking of overcoats, it’s a term that I use a lot to convey just how perfectly the music drapes the lyrical and vocal content of a song.  

Throughout this whole album of perfect little moments of musical simplicity, there is a sense of loving, losing, and being self preservation, ‘Don’t Try’ does a job on lost moments, ‘Gotta Let It Go’ screams out “let go!!” Before it drives you crazy, then ‘Dance With Me’ strikes a fucking great stake to the heart, its a stunning love song that cuts through you like a rusty knife, all are draped in music that can only be described as powerful, sharp as a razor and ridiculously brilliant.  This all leads us up to the place we are endlessly looking for in life, a place they call shangri La, a song that evokes all these feelings, this is ‘Secret Sisters’ why on earth they thought to rework this song into anything else I have no idea, its short, its sweet, its raw, it has to be played crazily loud, only then will you get the connection between the first and last songs of this album, pure unadulterated passion!!!!

How do you manage to do in around 20 minutes what others cannot do in an hour, well this band does and you come out the other side so much the richer.

Pre-Order your copy of this hot wax via The Bands Shop US or Kings Rd Merch UK

Head on over to the bands WEBSITE of FACEBOOK for loads more info and chat.