From Joyce Manor’s seminal 2011 self-titled debut to their last 2018 album Million Dollars To Kill Me, the California now-trio have been balancing their heavy, sharp-edged side with their more pop, buoyant side. Their genre is always up for debate; fans argue about whether the band fits into the emo or pop-punk, or just indie rock. They announced a new album 40 Oz. To Fresno last month and released the crashing “Gotta Let It Go,” which only furthered this confusion about their sound.
“Don’t Try,” their blazing new single out today, is a refreshing burst of off-kilter rock—whether it’s emo, pop-punk, or indie rock. It’s just an undeniable jam. The riffs are eerie and enticing; Barry Johnson’s vocals are used more as an instrument than ever before. It helps that the band recruited Tony Thaxton of Motion City Soundtrack for drums on this album, giving the songs an even harder kick. The track is shorter than two minutes, from an album that’s shorter than 18 minutes. As per usual, in a Guided By Voices kind of way, they don’t take up too much time or space.
Listen to Joyce Manor’s “Don’t Try” above.
40 Oz. To Fresno is out 6/10 via Epitaph Records. Pre-order it here.