Acclaimed Californian band Joyce Manor - Barry Johnson (vocals and guitar), Chase Knobbe (guitar), Jeff Enzor (drums), and Matt Ebert (bass) - have announced the release of their anticipated new album entitled Cody which arrives in stores this October 7th, care of Epitaph. It is the follow-up to the band’s 2014’s critically-lauded record Never Hungover Again.

While the band’s Epitaph debut Never Hungover Again was recorded in a mere ten days, Cody is the result of two months in the studio with renowned producer Rob Schnapf, credited on classics by Elliot Smith, Guided By Voices, Saves The Day and Rancid among others. As the band’s guitarist and singer Barry Johnson explains, “It was the first time we really used the studio to our advantage. I felt like I could get a better grasp on what we could do. We always recorded like a punk band—go in and lay ‘em down! Just get good takes! And this time we tried a lot more.” The result is a record that dares to be humble, intimate and unapologetically human. Cody is the album where the band moves past simple pop and punk. It’s a moment for clarity and creative renewal. Without losing any of the emotional power fans love, the band is defiantly looking towards the future.

From 2014 to 2017 Vundabar's Brandon Hagen cared for a loved one that had fallen into a debilitating state of mental and physical decline. For four years his sickness and the eventual loss that followed became the focal point of Hagen's life as well as his family's. It was the bell jar under which they lived. Hagen was fractured into two selves; one, largely insular, racked by grief and loss and the other putting it on, touring relentlessly and hoping to be as affable as possible lest he ruin the opportunities at hand. These were the fencings and borders he made for himself and for a time he let them stand. He presented a shell of charisma and withdrew into isolation and despair, convinced he was doing right by the old dogma of stoicism. He didn't tell a soul out of shame and embarrassment; whose he didn't know.

Unsurprisingly these two poles couldn't stand for long. The tension bore down on Hagen's skull until it felt something might break. It reared its ugly head from time to time. He became withdrawn, irritable and inactive and suffered more than one nervous break. It came to a point where he had to deal with it or it was going to deal with him.

In reflection Hagen realized the point that had led his loved one to a collapse and subsequent dissolution held parallels to his own. As a child, bereft of stability, he created a larger than life persona to live within. He buried his insecurities and traumas deep and kept them there for most of his adult life, until, unable to maintain the house on stilts he'd built for himself, he collapsed completely. And here Hagen was in the face of this loss, about to repeat the cycle.

Hagen wondered was this stoicism, this shame, this impasse even his own or had it been pressed upon him. From the earliest memories of boyhood he could recall one of the most integral attributes of male-ness being an ability to suppress emotion. Concealment was touted as a point of pride and here he watched as it leveled the one who held it in his hand.

'Smell Smoke', the band's anticipated 2018 follow up to their breakout 2015 album 'Gawk,' is an attempt at openness and vulnerability. It's an attempt at unlearning. It's a document of grief; a child crying into the dark.

KAIT ELDRIDGE has been the ringleader behind Big Eyes since 2010. Striving to find the perfect balance between punk, hard rock and pop, Big Eyes is content to be cemented “in between” the scenes.

Stereogum:

“I saw Big Eyes open for Against Me! in a glorified dive bar a few years back during the support cycle for their 2013 effort Almost Famous and instantly fell in love with them. The songs were catchy and energetic, and I couldn’t get enough of it. This August, the band will release their new album Stake My Claim on Don Giovanni Records, preceded by a lead single with the same name. Accompanied by a video shot in reverse, “Stake My Claim” doesn’t disappoint: It’s Big Eyes at their best, with Kaitlyn Eldridge’s taking over as one of the more powerful instruments of the ensemble.” Some words from Eldridge:

“Stake My Claim,” the song and the entire album, is about not letting anybody control you, and taking responsibility for yourself. CHOOSE YOUR OWN DESTINY! NO GODS, NO MASTERS!

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