Joyce Manor – “Never Hungover Again” Album Review

Posted: by Henderson


Stream “Never Hungover Again” on Epitaph’s YouTube while you read!

I decided to wait a while before writing  this review. I wanted to make sure that I was certain of what I was going to say because this is an important review. It’s important because Joyce Manor’s “Never Hungover Again”  is an important record and possibly the album of the year.

I’ve been playing “Never Hungover Again” almost non-stop since it debuted a little over a week ago on Epitaph Records. The record is only 19 minutes, so I usually listen to it from front to back and then front to back again. Other times, I listen to my favorite tracks 8 times in a row, or maybe I put the album on shuffle. No matter how I listen, I get the same impression from Joyce Manor’s 3rd LP. This is an incredible record, and more importantly perhaps, this is something different for the band and for music in general.

“Never Hungover Again” is definitely a change for Joyce Manor. The California 4-piece have maintained their quick punk rock pace, while smoothing out almost all of the gruff vocals, and incorporating many indie/alt rock elements. I can’t speak for all fans of Joyce Manor’s prior material, but I think this change of style, along with improved songwriting, and some particularly catchy bass lines, has elevated the band to a new level.

With “Never Hungover Again”, Joyce Manor have produced a unique combination of punk structures and indie rock melodies, resulting in catchy jams that fly by at a blazing pace. The tracks range from just over a minute to under 2 and a half, yet no songs feel incomplete and each of the 10 tracks has its own identity, a difficult task. Some of my favorites include, ‘Falling In Love Again‘, which features some of the best lyrics on the album, and ‘Heated Swimming Pool‘, which finishes the LP on a comparatively mellow note. ‘Catalina Fight Song‘ is the shortest and most intense song on the record and shows that Joyce Manor can still bring the hardcore energy when they feel like it. ‘Heart Shape Tattoo‘ is another fun track and strangely reminds me of early Blink 182.

A band’s 3rd LP is traditionally the troubling experimentation album. On “Never Hungover Again”, Joyce Manor were able to be the rare 3rd album experiment that works. They maintained all the most exciting elements of their punk background while supplementing this style with the right pieces from the indie rock world. The combination works. This new unique sound will surely reinvigorate most long time fans of the band and make new fans of people that would never have given Joyce Manor an ear before. This record is brief but memorable and will definitely be in consideration when it comes time for year end awards.

– Hendo