The members of Joyce Manor unabashedly wear their Emo hearts on their tattoo sleeves, peeling off searing Pop/Punk licks and detailing the romantic and social plight of contemporary youth, all while revisiting/tweaking the evolutionary timeline of Weezer and finding spiritual kinship with Alkaline Trio, The Get Up Kids, AFI, Descendents and other giants of the ’90s. Guitarist/vocalist Barry Johnson embarked on his musical journey in 2008 with friend/guitarist Chase Knobbe as a duo, which they reportedly conceived during a drunken stagger through Disneyland. The Torrance, California twosome quickly added a rhythm section and recorded a 2009 demo, followed by a 2010 split 7-inch with Summer Vacation.
Joyce Manor doesn’t have quite the same profile as other modern Emo translators, but it’s certainly not for lack of work. Over the past 11 years, the quartet — now consisting of Johnson, Knobbe, bassist Matt Ebert and drummer Pat Ware — has released five full-length albums, three EPs, four splits, a retrospective compilation and eight music videos, including the brilliantly conceptual and expertly shot “Think I’m Still in Love with You,” from their most recent album, last fall’s Million Dollars to Kill Me.
Joyce Manor has bounced its way up the Punk Rock indie label ladder. The band’s eponymous 2011 debut was released on 6131 Records, while their 2012 sophomore album, Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired (which featured a high-octane version of The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,”), came out on Asian Man. The group’s last three albums have all been released by renowned major indie Epitaph.
Joyce Manor in general and Johnson in particular have an abiding love and respect for the Emo and Indie bands they channel, which means their original translation of that sound doesn’t come off as retrograde hero worship but rather as legitimate influence and inspiration. On the performance side of the equation, the band took a fairly militant stand against the practice of stage diving early in their history and have stopped sets to ridicule anyone who engages in it. Forewarned is forearmed — keep your feet firmly on the dance floor.
Joyce Manor plays Thursday, Aug. 8 at Woodward Theater with Saves the Day.