Posted: 5th October, 2021 by The Editor
Emo tends to be seen as an inherently simplistic genre; the second a band gets too complex or too creative, they cease to be emo. With Such Joy, Superdestroyer is pushing back on that notion. In the same way that labelmates hey, ily clearly borrow from emo pop a la Bleed American or even We Are Beautiful We Are Doomed, Superdestroyer’s sound is a sort of inside-out take on the scrappy emo of Just Married or Whenever If Ever. The explosion of hey, ily or other like-minded lo-fi weirdo emo projects – like see through person, Rookie Card, or Lobsterfight – suggests the genre’s capacity for experimentation may be greater than anyone could’ve expected. Even among such luminaries, though, Such Joy is something unique.
Like those projects, Superdestroyer toys with a number of styles; on Such Joy, he jumps from pop-punk to chillwave to metalcore to ambient to midwest emo and back, all in the span of sixteen minutes and often in the span of a single song. This is all anchored by his voice, which has a tone almost similar to a young Barry Johnson, his ear for melody, which turns the sparse “I’m Sorry I Ruined Your Birthday” – a song that sounds, especially on Such Joy, like a fifth wave emo take on an Everclear or Semisonic track – into one of the bigger earworms on the record.
What’s most impressive about the LP is the way it never feels scattershot, the way the transitions never seem too left-field or inorganic. The breakdown that ends “Someone Throw Me in the Trash” flows perfectly into the ethereal beat of “Analog Nightmares”; it’s a moment that should be near impossible to pull off but works flawlessly. It’s a snapshot of the album in miniature: a game of genre roulette with a real big payoff.
Disappointing / Average/ Good / Great / Phenomenal
Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison
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