THE UNRAVELING is not a departure from what got PUP here, really; for all the new breadth, this is still very much the fourth album by the band that has spun songs about The Bad Decisions Lifestyle into scrappy art. The hooks are as bright and barbed as always; the poison threaded through every song is no less potent. But a fourth album should be different from the first, or even the third, and THE UNRAVELING is. “I don’t know that we set out to do new stuff,” Mykula says, of a record on which the band does a great deal of new stuff. “It’s just a band trying to sound as much like themselves as possible. Every record you make, you get closer to that.”
Joyce Manor is a band who have never relied on gimmicks. Since forming in Torrance, California, in 2008, the band—vocalist/guitarist Barry Johnson, bassist Matt Ebert and guitarist Chase Knobbe—have built-up a feverish fanbase by writing catchy, pop-punk songs that seem straight-forward on the surface but teeming with carefully crafted nuances upon multiple listens.