If Never Hungover Again was for the precariously kept, Cody is for those seeing things in plain sight. It’s not as instantly enjoyable, but that wasn’t what Joyce Manor set out to do with this record. Pop punk, in all its urgency and supposed cliché, often bends the rules rather than makes something out of them; however, Cody is looking for something different. The California four-piece are giving themselves the privilege of space as they get older, and that translates into the songs.
As a whole, the album is softer, sweeter and more complex – both in delivery and theme. The album’s standout track ‘Stairs’ not only ditches their usual two-minute-head-fuck song format for a full four-minute run, but also turns out to be the purest love song they’ve ever written. Love songs are usually about professing feelings, but this one is about protecting them; it confronts the weird and unexpected ways love manifests, and at the end, it turns into an ethereal musical landscape where lead singer Barry Johnson’s fading pleas of ‘all the things you’d never see / if it were up to me’ are as fantastical as the thought of protecting someone from the real world.
However, this album isn’t about becoming jaded with age – it’s about seeing the world for how it really is, and making peace with that. Before, their songs were exertion and now they are admission – one day, you too will be looking back at your youth, wanting something out of nothing. This is an album for those grown-ups who aren’t done growing up.
Buy: Joyce Manor – Cody