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Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing

  by Chris O'Toole

published: 11 / 9 / 2009

Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing
Label: Favorite Gentlemen
Format: CD


Cerebral, but surprisingly versatile debut album from Atlanta-based group the Manchester Orchestra, which will come as a welcome treat to punk metal fans

To say the path is well trodden would be to criminally underestimate the situation. Manchester Orchestra's biography reads like a carbon copy of countless American bands. Growing up in the suburbs, in this case the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, a group of young men become disillusioned with life and channel their energy into music. Lacking the imagination to break out from the prevailing modus operandi they are swept along in the coattails of consensus, achieving moderate success. 'Mean Everything to Nothing' is a case in point, with Manchester Orchestra operating as heirs to Alkaline Trio, with the yelps of frontman/songwriter Andy Hull almost chemically designed to imitate Matt Skiba, or an early Weakerthans. The album's 11 tracks trundle past; part homage, part pastiche. And yet, and yet in this case it seems to actually work. The depth of Hull's song writing belies the group's youth – tackling subjects outside of the normal youth alienation, disenfranchisement and redemption through love. Despite relentless touring, including appearances at Lollapalooza, the group maintain a fresh, vigorous outlook. The group is almost naively optimistic; quietly assuming that if they riff loud enough the arenas will simply be built around them. While there are too many bands plying this rock with a faux cerebral edge for them all to make it, 'Pride' and 'Shake it Out' are worth the space on the iPod, while the slower '100 Dollars' illustrate a versatility and song craft lacking from some so-called emo contenders. For those interested in the genre this will be a welcome treat, while for outsiders 'Mean Everything to Nothing' will blur seamlessly into the background.

Track Listing:-
1 The Only One
2 Shake It Out
3 I've Got Friends
4 Pride
5 In My Teeth
6 100 Doller
7 I Can Feel A Hot One
8 My Friend Marcus
9 Tony The Tiger
10 Everything To Nothing
11 The River
12 Jimmy, He Whispers

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