Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Joyce Manor
Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired
Asian Man Records [2012]

Many, many moons ago my friend and blog-mate Jeff Ogiba called me to ask for a train station pick-up. Since I'm SUCH a good friend (and the train station is five minutes away from my house) I said, "No problem buddy". My reward for this great inconvenience was two free LP's: The Sidecicks' Awkward Breeds and Joyce Manor's Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired. Devotees will recall that I reviewed the former back in May as the latter sat collecting dust. I'm writing today to atone for this egregious error in judgement. As good as The Sidekicks record is, OATIWSGT is just as remarkable. Joyce Manor strike me as (and this is nothing more than an assumption) a group of hardcore kids who decided to get together and do something energetic and fun. I hesitate to call it pop punk, due to the extremely negative connotations this term brings up, but I'm gonna do it anyway because I LOVE pop punk. Though they inhabit space closer to Jawbreaker than The Queers or Green Day, the intensity and youthfully ramshackle songwriting certainly abide the title. Songs like "Bride of Usher" and "Comfortable Clothes" are completely infectious pop, "These Kind of Ice Skates" and "If I Needed You There" come off as an all-out attack, and "Drainage" sounds like it was written on a porch swing and recorded to a dictaphone. Thankfully OATIWSGT can maneuver across genres effortlessly due to the compact and precise execution. The only real missteps are "See How Tame I Can Be" which has an oddly out-of-place sequenced drum track, and their cover of "Video Killed the Radio Star", which is forgivable because, ya know, they're punks or whatever. "Violent Inside" is the absolute stand out, a 90 second collision of heartfelt lyrics and pitch-perfect guitar work that I've listened to probably every day for the last few months. This record goes by FAST but it's an absolute gem. This is as simply as I can put it: If you've ever had your favorite hoodie stolen by a girl who WAS NOT your girlfriend - you will like Joyce Manor.   

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