Joyce Manor - Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Joyce Manor

Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired (2012)

Asian Man Records

I fell in love with Joyce Manor's self-titled in 2011, and most particularly with "Leather Jacket." That romance continued here, and while I feel the band just fell short and played it a bit safe on Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired, the album's high quality can't be disputed. It is a great album, although not as stellar as its predecessor.

"Comfortable Clothes" is that kind of punk rock driving anthem that makes summer days of getting high and getting laid the most repeatable days ever. It's about that teen angst and adolescent romance, that stereotypical coming-of-age yearning for your hot-best-friend-who's-the-girl-next-door-kinda-vibe. Growing up on NOFX, Pennywise, Ramones, Alkaline Trio, Rancid and Green Day (in the '90s when they were good and not conforming to some forced breed of commercial fuck-my-ear alternative pseudo-punk) makes me appreciate bands like Joyce Manor, Title Fight and Tigers Jaw much more. They add that silky underground feel to the market for kids to still go to basement shows as opposed to licking the sales charts with Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. These bands remind me of a grand era.

"See How Tame I Can Be" is a gesture to this throwback, where a riveting bass-line gives such a mood of bliss and a melody of pure fun. It's catchy but not in that cheap shitty poppy way. Lines like "Don't stop by / No, you don't have to be around tonight / If you're feeling like it, stand out in the hallway / Fall into my arms because I want you / Can't you tell at all?" are classic. It's Joyce's stylized way of laying it all out on the line.

They continue crafting that romantic sympathy in their songs, and I can't get enough. "Drainage" offers a tight little interlude with just a bit more punch, with respect to emotion and some sort of empathy. It's warm and gives the gist of purpose. Joyce Manor is intent on translating emotion brilliantly. On that note, I digress to say that the "Video Killed the Radio Star" cover bled my ears…in a bad way. Sorry, but no!

The spine of the album is the strongest track, "Bride of Usher." It's exemplary of that thing Joyce Manor does when it makes a poppy punk song much better in terms of being a punk song. There's the formulaic bassline in this song that kicks major ass. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Spend less than half-hour taking this record in, and I can bet you won't regret it. It does kick ass, just like Joyce Manor was taught to do.