There’s something to be said about listening to a record and being excited throughout the entire album as each song progresses.
That’s the way I felt when first listening to Joyce Manor’s Cody. Their previous album Never Hungover Again has been a constant listen since its release in 2014. To me, that was their most accomplished record. It had the hooks, the melodies, the punk side, and the softer side-- I didn’t think they could top it.
I was wrong.
Cody embodies even more measured and thought-out songs that function both on their own and as a cohesive whole.
One of the things that appeals to me most about Joyce Manor, throughout their career, is their short songs.
The tracks are quick listens that don’t pull any punches. They feel honest and heartfelt, saying what they need to say and then ending right where they need to end. With Cody the band has embraced a somewhat longer form, while increasing the level of vulnerability and expansiveness. With lyrics like, “How come nothing amazes me? I don’t know” (“Angel in the Snow”) you can’t ignore the blatant apathy-- the in-your-face emotion.
The instrumentation on this record is equally as expansive. You can call the sound many things, but one thing you can’t say about it is that it’s stale. The overall sound of this record isn’t something that's easily categorized. It’s got a grand sound in places (“Make Me Dumb”), pop-tinged-punk in others (“Fake I.D.”), straightforward indie rock (“This Song Is A Mess But So Am I”), and even an acoustic ballad (“Do You Really Want To Not Get Better?”).
When all is said and done, there’s just something really special about this record.
The band put together a group of songs that somehow feels nostalgic and new at the same time. Songs that are aggressive enough to scream, flowing perfectly into songs that have the potential to make you genuinely sit back and think about what’s going on around you. Cody is Joyce Manor’s most complete sounding record, hands down, from the opening sounds of “Fake I.D.” to the final chord of “This Song Is A Mess But So Am I.”