Published Jun 03, 2020Joyce Manor are taking fans back to their early days with Songs from Northern Torrance, named after their California hometown and featuring 10 songs from their early years, spanning from 2008 to 2010.
While the longest song is only just over two minutes long, each packs a hefty punch, especially the opening track "House Warning Party." It's minimally produced, yet it serves its purpose of getting listeners pumped for the rest of the album, with driving drums that serve as both beat and melody. The album is reminiscent of the band's live shows — songs like "Constant Nothing" and "Leather Jacket" sound like they should be played in a dingy little venue while fans in a mosh pit are yelling the lyrics at the top of their lungs.
Vocalist Barry Johnson switches back and forth between clean singing and raw shouting. It's a delicate balance that he pulls off well as it keeps the album from feeling muddy. But the short tracks end just as it sounds like the band are hitting their stride. Nevertheless, Songs from Northern Torrance is a fantastic peek into Joyce Manor's early work. (Epitaph)