Album Review: Joyce Manor – ‘Cody’

Posted: by The Editor


I personally have found myself growing more and more comfortable with using the term “pop” when describing some of my favorite music these days. A once dirty term used as the antithesis of punk has since been reclaimed and revamped and it’s more palatable to punks than ever. Joyce Manor’s Cody revisits early 2000’s movie soundtrack-esq pop punk.

While as a whole I very much enjoyed the album, there are surely some weaker links. Tracks like “Eighteen”, “Last You Heard of Me”, and “Stairs” were catchy and fun while maintaining their signature poetic attempt Joyce Manor lyricism, while tracks like “Make Me Dumb” and “Over Before It Began” are repetitive and almost too simple, despite simplicity being one of the defining factors of Joyce Manor’s previous discography.

“Eighteen” is a classic ode to being young, expressing both the angst and excitement felt at such a infamously tender age. The intro itself captures the anxious build up of teenage years leading up to the sweet release of “adulthood.” The candid nature of the lyrics makes it feel like Barry isn’t addressing anyone but his past self in an attempt to console poor eighteen year old Barry.

“Last You Heard of Me” is quite frankly just one of those IT tracks, filling some sort of void in recent releases I didn’t even know was there. Hitting some sort of musical craving I had, it’s catchy without being annoying or repetitive, and just angsty enough to distinguish itself as one of the album’s standout tracks, accompanied most notably by the album’s second to last track. “Stairs” is the track that initially tipped off my early 2000’s movie soundtrack nostalgia. Pop influenced enough to be featured on a Disney Channel Feature Film, effortless enough for radio play, and frank enough to emit at least a few laughs (because who doesn’t love a song about living at home at 26 years old).

I was fortunate enough to attend their “record release” show in Portland (the Portland tour date just happened to fall on Cody’s release date), and I will say that was probably the overall album validating experience. Live the album was great, it had energy, and it was both amusing and interesting. Unfortunately, recorded, some of the tracks just fell flat and lacked the excitement and compelling factors that they embodied live. All that being said, Cody undoubtedly lived up to my personal anticipation, and will certainly be a top album of 2016 contender for me.


Delaney Motter | @loser513