Joyce Manor

Million Dollars To Kill Me

Written by: PP on 28/09/2019 11:42:52

"Million Dollars To Kill Me" is the fifth studio album by indie-flavored pop punkers Joyce Manor, who seem to be putting out records at a pace of one every two years with slight variations in sound for each. The raw punk urgency and buzzing melodies of their early work are no longer the driving force behind their soundscape, which has been replaced the Menzingers-inspired, indie-flavored songwriter style instead with a little bit of Weezer style nerd-rock in for good measure.

Now, what does that mean for the record as a whole? Well, if you were after the rowdy energy and semi-chaotic soundscape these guys are capable of delivering every once in a while, you're in no luck. Instead, the record is full of mid-tempo strollers like the heavily Menzingers-influenced "Big Lie", which sort of lulls along for a while until Barry Johnson's vocals finally break into a rougher, scratchier expression. This is where Joyce Manor is at their best, not the indie-flavored snoozefests like the semi-acoustic "I'm Not The One" or the all-too-safe "Silly Games". It's just too uninspiring and frankly boring.

The title track is louder, with distorted guitars giving the song some edge, but vocally, we're still mostly in the middle-of-the-ground indie-rock territory without much to write home about. "Friends We Met Online", on the other hand, is exactly what we're looking for from Joyce Manor. The tempo picks up, the vocal melodies are playful and unconventional, and there's a buzzing sense of energy to the chorus melody, making it one of the best songs on the record.

And therein lies the heart of the problem with "Million Dollars To Kill Me": it's just too inconsistent. Way too often the band breaks out a banger of a melodic punk song, only to match it with a forgettable indie rock piece that's not terrible, but doesn't exactly leave a long-lasting memory either.

Download: Fighting Kangaroo, Big Lie, Friends We Met Online
For the fans of: Tigers Jaw, The Front Bottoms, Jeff Rosenstock, Weezer
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.09.2018

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