Joyce Manor have delivered an unpretentious belter of a record. Storming past at a breakneck nineteen minutes long, the Californian band’s third full-length almost ends too soon. More arty than pop-punk and more hectic than plain ol’ indie, ‘Never Hungover Again’ forms somewhat ironically the perfect soundtrack to days spent drinking with your buddies.
Themes of regret seem to permeate the record and as frantic chords are bashed out in tracks like ‘Victoria’ there’s the sense that Joyce Manor are exorcising their personal demons through the medium of their music. Palpable angst and frustration at everything from ill-thought out tattoos to fragile relationships lend a poignant teenage sadness to the album. Frontman Barry Johnson’s dejected lyrics have justifiably led to comparisons The Smiths, and closing track ‘Heated Swimming Pool’ pays direct sonic homage to the original purveyors of melancholy.
The sentiment of feeling adrift amongst the crowd is expressed flawlessly on ‘Never Hungover Again’. For the well-adjusted, Joyce Manor have nothing to offer. If however, lying on your bedroom floor lamenting that face that disappeared into the crowd or sobbing into your Descendents shirt are activities you regularly partake in, ‘Never Hungover Again’ could prove to be the remedy for all your woes. Sorrow and resignation never sounded this good.