By HAROLD HART Tower Writer
This week our music writer, Harold Hart, delves into this Torrance, California band’s new album, “Million Dollars to Kill Me”
The band Joyce Manor, is a small band that has gained a large following while managing to stay under the radar. Their fan base is extremely loyal and supportive of their music and social media lives. The band started in the small town of Torrance, California in 2008. The members of the band are vocalist and guitarist Barry Johnson, guitarist Chase Knobbe, drummer Pat Ware who has taken over for Jeff Enzer who took over from the original drummer Kurt Walcher, and finally bassist and back-up vocalist Matt Ebert. The band was first started when Barry created the name from an apartment building across the street from his house. It also started out as a duo with members Barry and Knobbe. The duo didn’t last long shortly after they started doing gigs the other two members joined. Shortly, after the band was together they released their first EP which was widely praised. “Constant Headache” which came out in 2010 and it was their first EP that they dropped and was only 5 songs in length. They’re unique sound and relatable lyrics brought in a lot of followers and continues to grow. Their newest album “Million Dollars To Kill Me” was met with a lot of anticipation to see how they could carry the hype from their last album “Cody” which was released 2 years ago. In their album “Million Dollars To Kill Me” they kind of turned away from the punk feel that their fans came to love and moved towards a more melodic/catchy feel that is huge turn around.
After listening to “Million Dollars To Kill Me” I can see that the band is experimenting with new techniques and using lyrics in a way that gets stuck in your head. The overall feel of the album is balanced with the feelings of being hopeful and doubtful of what’s going on in your life. My favorite song of the album has to be big lie it is the third song off the album. The song is very unique in a way that it captures a mood and goes with it. The mood that it captures is loneliness and trying to find ways to get over it. We’ve all had times where we get lonely look for something or someone to fill up the space. I feel like the all the instruments add to the song in a way that if you take one out or change something it wouldn’t give the same feel. It’s just a very well put together song and is one of the top songs on the album. Along with the self titled, “song million dollars to kill me and think i’m still in love with you.” Thinking back to their first album that I listened to “Never Hungover Again” you can tell that they are more experimental and changing how to play. The lyrics are still whiny and consistent with their older stuff but have more room for “sing-a-long parts”. The length of songs are longer and have more of a flow and not as jarring. Joyce Manor is currently touring in Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, and France. Tickets are being sold on their website along with the date of the concert.
I had the chance to interview two students who go to Bethany college. Both of them are members of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. The first is Hunter Bowman the president of Alpha Sig, I had him listen to the album “Never Hungover Again” which is only 19 minutes long. He said that the music “alright, not what I usually listen to.” I then asked him if any of the songs on the album stuck out to him in anyway. He responded with “ yeah, I really enjoyed the song Heart Tattoo.” which is one of the most popular songs off of the album. After I was done interviewing Hunter Bowman I then asked Lucas Yeck to listen to the same album and give feedback. Lucas said “I usually don’t listen to alternative rock so it wouldn’t be my first choice of a band.” I also asked him if anything about the album stuck out to him which he replied with “ yeah, I noticed that there are songs that are a lot shorter than others” and that the song Schley was his favorite from the album. Saying that “I really liked the beat to the song.” Lucas finished with that “I would recommend this album to my friends but only the ones who enjoy alternative rock. I don’t think the ones who like hip hop would like it as much.”