October 20th, 2017

Teagan McGinnis | Joyce Manor | SOMA | USD Radio

Lead vocalist and guitarist, Barry Johnson, pulls down the collar of his shirt to show the audience the newest addition of body art that covers his skin like a colorful canvas that is as emotionally charged as his music in both sound and lyrical sensibilities. His Friday the13th, half-priced tattoo is complimented by many other works of art. The rose that wraps around the vocal chords on his neck immediately catches my eye, as it seemingly materializes the beauty found in his voice. Joyce Manor was created in the back of a Disneyland parking lot, sparking a pop-punk sound not yet discovered. With certain lyrics reminiscent of Morrissey, the band sings about emotional actions and tendencies that make us inherently human. Joyce Manor explains this form of expressionism with, “There are broken homes, drunken nights, faltering relationships and the kind of numbness that makes you want to feel anything at all, even if it hurts.” The best live performance of the night consists of the song “Falling in Love Again.” Johnson sings of the renewal of love and nervousness that comes with intial impressions that, at times, affects our rhetoric and presentation. His thoughts carry the song everywhere, as in the case of the mental state when an individual finds love. It is a frenzied and fuzzy attempt to speak about someone who in his mind, is so wonderfully indescribable. Thus, the lyrics and sound progression are clear indications that he is, in fact, “falling in love again.”

Every aspect of their sound is loud. As an audience member, the music is all you can truly hear, so it fills your head, consuming your mind with nostalgic moments from a past and present that are evoked through the raw relatability of the lyrics. Drummer, Jeff Enzor, is constantly changing pace, making each melody extremely unique and paralleling the fluctuation in emotions. He guides the band through each song, keeping pace for moshers and crowd surfers alike. Long intervals of guitar allow one to not only appreciate the lyrics that make a band like Joyce Manor so captivating, but the instrumentals as well. Joyce Manor concludes the evening with one of their most popular songs, “Constant Headache.”It is played with passion as the entire crowd pushes to the front like a wave in a body of water as the first chord progression begins. They create music that mirrors emotion in its purest form. It is their ability to embrace raw vulnerability that continues to captivate listeners and corral many more eager ears.


Tickets for the Joyce Manor tour range from $15-$25