When a band’s debut is so refreshing that it captivates the masses who seek something new, it proves to be a double-edged sword when the next record rolls around. Case in point: Joyce Manor’s eponymous record, considered to be a highlight in the mass of releases spanning 2011. Opting to tackle quality over quantity with their sophomore offering ‘Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired’, their challenge is proving in a mere thirteen minutes that they can consistently produce something wonderful.
At face value it’s good; after a few more listens it’s brilliant. ‘Comfortable Clothes’ is one of the few tracks that held its own immediately; a quintessential punk essence laced with undeniable catchiness, perfect for driving long country roads in the summer, cranked to 11 with the windows rolled down. Confident enough in their own style and approach, they cover ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ by deconstructing all the musical flaunts synonymous with the track and rebuilding it as their own, unique work. It’s a curveball like this that certifies this record to be greater than you first imagine.
‘If I Needed You There’ is lyrically repetitive for the most part, yet fuses the harshest musicality on the record with harmonics that bring an acute sense of delicacy to even the most anarchic of numbers. The record’s finale - the 50 second ‘I’m Always Tired’ – is stripped back to bare essentials: muffled vocals and an acoustic guitar, ending this minute offering simplistically.
One has to be very confident in their ability to release a 13 minute album that can follow something as wonderful as its predecessor. Some moments do require a little bit of time to grow on you, but when it clicks this album surpasses expectations. Whether it’s their finest work is up for debate, but it speaks volumes on their fearlessness to release an album so short and so stripped back, yet pull it off so seamlessly. This was bold move for Joyce Manor, but one that exemplifies exactly why they’re loved.
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