On September 21, Joyce Manor will release their fifth full-length effort, Million Dollars to Kill Me. The album follows 2016’s critically lauded release Cody.
Produced by Converge’s Kurt Ballou, Million Dollars to Kill Me came to life at Ballou’s own GodCity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts. During the recording process, Joyce Manor guitarist/vocalist Barry Johnson, guitarist Chase Knobbe, bassist Matt Ebert, and new drummer Pat Ware slept right upstairs in bunk beds. “Kinda felt like camp,” Johnson notes. Additionally, Million Dollars to Kill Me was mixed by Andrew Scheps (Weezer, AFI, Green Day).
While Cody focused on growing up, Million Dollars to Kill Me looks at what happens next: reckonings with love, money, doubt, confusion, and the hope that persists despite it all. Throughout the album, Joyce Manor augment that tension with their layered guitar work: Knobbe’s uncommon ability to make songs sound sadder and tougher at the same time, Johnson’s flair for mixing minor and major chords to invoke a precise kind of overpowering melancholy.
Co-founded by Johnson and Knobbe in L.A.’s South Bay, Joyce Manor released their self-titled first album in 2011. The band made their Epitaph Records debut with Never Hungover Again, a 2014 effort that Pitchfork hailed as “their most ambitious and diverse album, as weird as it is instantly enjoyable.”
Jeff Rosenstock was an anxious kid who grew into an anxious adult and has also made a bunch of music along the way with a bunch of bands, most notably Bomb the Music Industry! who apparently pioneered giving shit away for free on the internet - or at least got some of the credit for it.
Now he plays with his bi-coastal band of rad musicians, mixing punk heart with diverse instrumentation and occasional accuracy. The new record POST- was written in a snowy mountain dreamscape, recorded in a marathon session and finished moments before it was released on New Year's Day. Most of it (like 51%) was recorded live to tape, making the record a fiery distillation of Rosenstock's high energy live shows that push the boundaries of dynamics in rock music.
I hope. I don't know, that's what I was going for at least.