Nothing to spruce up a dull August Monday better than a sick new single from Joyce Manor, one of rock music’s freshest acts. I’ve had the privilege of seeing these guys live twice and their show is so full of energy, fun and ferocious licks. I’m betting their forthcoming LP will show the benefits of their extensive touring since “Never Hungover Again” came out in 2014. With pro producer Rob Schanpf at the helm, their fourth album ought to make for their most pro and polished yet, while holding onto that garage-rock quality that makes Joyce Manor so very endearing. They’re a young band, but this makes them appealing to older fans, sigh.
“Fake I.D.” is standard Joyce format, with punchy, descriptive narrative and one helluva hook, this time incorporating the one and only Kanye West. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since it came out yesterday. What I love about this band is how damn fun they are — no matter how lonely, rejected, fucked up or pissed off, they’re still game for a fast-paced funky lick and a sardonic reference or two. Here, the drums pound, the guitars wail, and Barry nails the rhymes (John Steinbeck and Phil Hartman, what!).
At just over two minutes long, the song is a breeze of a listen, and like other Joyce tracks, makes you wonder why we bother with any more noise than necessary if you can pack this much punch in a short stretch of time. Especially lyrically. My interpretation of “Fake I.D.” — there’s an obvious tension between the singer and the object of his desire, but apparently all she wants to do is chat, even though maybe he’d like to connect a little because life has been rough. All that, with some stellar guitar playing, in under 2:20? That’s some crisp writing — sign me up for more.