47. Joyce Manor, 'Never Hungover Again' (2014)
Joyce Manor's early years were spent oscillating between frenetic punk and heart-on-sleeve pop. "The first thing we did was pop-punk wanting to be hardcore, and we succeeded," guitarist-singer Barry Johnson told L.A. Record after his band released their third album, Never Hungover Again. "That gave us the confidence to focus on more pop stuff, which we wouldn't have had the confidence to do before – to really wanna write actual pop songs, for better or worse." It was for the better: Never Hungover Again is a titanic punch of yearning, winsome pop-forward tunes delivered in an efficient 19 minutes. Here, Joyce Manor smoothed out the edges of their songs, letting their melodies breathe and clearing room for their hooks to hit the gut. Johnson's pensive bellows and empathetic lyrics about youthful mistakes ("Heart Tattoo") and post-adolescent malaise ("Catalina Fight Song") helped make Never Hungover Again a pop-punk album even people who hated pop-punk could find joy in. L.G.