Released ten years ago today, the self-titled, debut album from Joyce Manor is still a joy to listen to. They’re a band that always think outside the box and are complete innovators of their craft, imbuing their debut record with emo, punk rock, and indie sensibilities. When thinking of its release ten years ago, though, it still feels like that was the ’90s to me.
Exceeding expectations upon release in 2011, this remarkable album still holds onto its youthful presence while also maturing with each listen. From album opener “Orange Julius,” armed with pure charisma and layers of adrenaline, to the hard-hitting, second track “Call Out,” there’s something for everyone on this album.
Most of the tracks on Joyce Manor sit just under the two-and-a-half-minute mark, making each performance short yet firmly sweet. For an outfit that are at times criticized for their relatively brief compositions, it feels genuine here and, more than anything, a statement of intent. Joyce Manor can get their point across in a short amount of time before rambling on about something else—that’s what makes them special.
Sitting alongside releases from punk ancestors, Joyce Manor still feels ground-breaking a decade on. It’s a softer, punk approach to what you’d hear from modern legends such as IDLES, and yet Joyce Manor fuse their uplifting angst with vibrant pop-punk.
The chaotic arrangements of each track may feel fast-paced and overbearing at times, but the record’s overall performance is perfectly polished and bathed in earworm hooks that wiggle their way into your mind. After all, this is the album that gave us a bonafide emo classic, and the band’s most played track on Spotify, “Constant Headache.”
So, if you’re a first-time listener to this classic album, brace yourself for impact, as this wonderful album is both nostalgic and refreshing. And, if you’ve heard this one before, then you should reminisce and cherish those moments, now more than ever.
Joyce Manor’s latest compilation album, Songs From Northern Torrance, is available to purchase here.