Joyce Manor exists at an intersection of pop-punk, emo, and indie rock – not completely maintaining the tropes of each one, but taking parts of each genre to make their own unique sound. Cody largely sheds the pop-punk part and focuses mostly on the indie rock and emo.
Joyce Manor has often had short, ramshackle songs reminiscent of indie rockers Guided by Voices in length, sound, vocal melodies, and for the fact that they cut out all of the potential excess that could weigh a song down so that there is only a quick build-up to a big hook. However, Barry Johnson’s lyrics and wistful vocal style are more comparable to emo and pop-punk. Joyce Manor started as a pop-punk band, but they have shed most of those influences.
Cody seems like a more mature continuation of 2014’s Never Hungover Again. It was clear that Never Hungover Again. Whereas Never Hungover Again seemed like it was a lot looser and quickly recorded (as the band has stated in interviews), Cody seems to have a lot tighter production without compromising their sound. Joyce Manor hired producer Rob Schnapf (who, as chance would have it, has produced Guided By Voices) to work on Cody, and it certainly shows.
There is also more variation on Cody. There are acoustic ballads, sound experimentation, and a couple longer songs. “Do You Really Want To Not Get Better?” is a short acoustic ballad that doesn’t seem at all out of place with the rest of the album. “Stairs” has an excellent, extended ending with a uncharacteristic of the band.
Cody is definitely in running for the indie rock album of the year.
Recommended If You Like: Pet Symmetry, Modern Baseball, The Front Bottoms, Seahaven, Tigers Jaw, Jawbreaker, Guided by Voices, Jeff Rosenstock
Recommended Tracks: 2 (Eighteen), Stairs, 1 (Fake I.D.), 3 (Angel in the Snow), 7 (Over Before It Began), 8 (Reversing Machine)
Do Not Play: 6 (Make Me Dumb), 10 (This Song Is A Mess But So Am I)
Written by Josh Gaston on 10/23/2016