Album Review: Manchester Orchestra – Cope
I remember the very first song I heard by Manchester Orchestra. I had never heard of the band before, but found someone talking about them in one of those indie blogs I was obsessed with at the time. The writer raved so much about them that I just had to check them out so I picked up I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child and added it to my music catalog without actually listening to it. A couple of days later, “Sleeper 1972” trickled through my headphones and I immediately fell in love. I was just about to pack things up for the night and go to bed, instead I listened to the entire album over and over again.
When I saw that there was a new Manchester Orchestra album coming out this year, I knew it would be another great batch of songs from the guys. I was happy to get a sample of what the album would have to offer when I saw them play back in November. I waited patiently for another three months for just one more taste of the album. The volume on my radio went all the way to 11 when I heard the DJ say that they were about to premiere the new single from Manchester Orchestra about a month ago. “Top Notch” came blaring through my speakers and the excitement I felt for the new album intensified.
While the band’s last album, Simple Math, showed their softer side, Cope brings back the pure, unadulterated rock that Manchester Orchestra does best. “Top Notch” was a perfect first single to release to show fans what to expect from the album. With it’s snarling guitars and Andy Hull’s unique howl it’s everything that rock should be but rarely is these days. It really lays out the groundwork for the rest of the album and lets you know that you’ve got a non-stop energy filled 40 minutes ahead of you.
Each track is a memorable one making Cope one of the band’s most consistent albums to date. “The Ocean” features Hull’s voice crashing over distorted guitars and is simply fantastic to hear live. “Trees” is the loudest track on the album with filthy guitars and an unrelenting energy and volume that make it one of the strongest on the album. “Indentions” offers a momentary break, starting a bit slower and quieter than the rest of the album before building to an ending that rivals the rest of the album.
Manchester Orchestra continue to prove that they cannot only produce musically and lyrically impressive songs, but that they can express their talent with different sounding songs. Cope makes it clear that Manchester Orchestra is one of the best rock bands out there right now, demonstrating that you can make an album full of rock songs that don’t have to be overly complex or all sound exactly the same. Cope was well worth the wait and definitely raises the bar for the rock genre as a whole.