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The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

‘Million Dollars to Kill Me’: Joyce Manor showcases wide-ranging skills

EPITAPH RECORDS Joyce Manor’s “Million Dollars to Kill Me” on Epitaph Records.

Grade: B+

California-based, Joyce Manor, released an album on Friday, Sept. 21 entitled “Million Dollars to Kill Me.”

In their 10th year and fifth-full length album, Joyce Manor got back to some of their roots, while staying true to their newer influences.

Over the years and albums, Joyce Manor has started to take fewer risks in their music choices. These stylistic choices were especially clear in their 2016 album entitled “Cody.”

It’s important to note that Joyce Manor has a sound that really falls under a few genres ranging from emo to indie rock.

The 22-minute full-length album kicks off with “Big Lie,” and it might be the best song of the album. The tempo of the song is driven by the drums and when paired with the vocals of lead singer Barry Johnson, this song excels. About half-way through, at the 1:30 mark, the song drastically changes to more of a violent tone. Johnson really shows his excellence around this mark with his strong vocal work.

“I’m Not The One” is the fourth song on the album and follows “Big Lie.” This song drastically changes the tempo of the album and gives a much-needed difference in pace.

Also, this song not only serves as a change of pace but also touches on societal issues. According to a Stereogum article, inspiration came from this song from millionaires around the world including Telstar CEO, Elon Musk.

“Trying to decide who’s good and who’s just poor,” Johnson sings on the track.

During the seventh track, “Friends We Met Online,” Joyce Manor sounds like a completely different band. They sound more like a nondescript 2000s rock band. Somehow though, Joyce Manor makes this song work by putting their own twist on it with guitar solos and signature riffs.

Before the album was released, Joyce Manor had three singles released that are on the album as well, “Silly Games,” “Think I’m Still In Love With You” and “Million Dollars To Kill Me.”

All three singles are solid. “Think I’m Still In Love With You” is the second song on the album and perhaps the most Joyce Manor-like on the entire album. With a slow guitar intro and the progression of guitars throughout this song, it fits the mold.

The last song of the album, “Wildflowers,” ends on a somber note with the last words on the entire album being “Why are we still pretending to believe?”

Joyce Manor is currently set for tour with Vundabar, Big Eyes and Peach Kelli Pop and will make a stop Oct. 23. in Minneapolis.

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