13 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Manchester Orchestra’s second release, Mean Everything to Nothing, features explosive and earnest songs that use classic loud/soft dynamics and dramatic tempo shifts to create a driving intensity that rarely lets up. The first half of the album is particularly aggressive and loud, with sharp guitar riffs and waves of keyboards punctuated by bursts of angst, as if the band needed to spew some vitriol just to properly warm up. The emotional urgency of the vocals and the heavy, often bitter lyrics that fill these coming-of-age songs work because the band knows just when to release the tension, like following up the grungy, melodramatic “Pride” with the taut, Nirvana-inspired “In My Teeth.” They also know how to write a mean hook. The album shows their range especially in anthems like “I’ve Got Friends,” the raw “100 Dollars,” and full-blown throat-shredding power ballads like “I Can Feel a Hot One,” “My Friend Marcus,” and the title cut. Mean Everything to Nothing rocks out with such urgency and devotion that you have to admire the band’s ambition and sincerity and their commitment to good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll therapy.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Manchester Orchestra’s second release, Mean Everything to Nothing, features explosive and earnest songs that use classic loud/soft dynamics and dramatic tempo shifts to create a driving intensity that rarely lets up. The first half of the album is particularly aggressive and loud, with sharp guitar riffs and waves of keyboards punctuated by bursts of angst, as if the band needed to spew some vitriol just to properly warm up. The emotional urgency of the vocals and the heavy, often bitter lyrics that fill these coming-of-age songs work because the band knows just when to release the tension, like following up the grungy, melodramatic “Pride” with the taut, Nirvana-inspired “In My Teeth.” They also know how to write a mean hook. The album shows their range especially in anthems like “I’ve Got Friends,” the raw “100 Dollars,” and full-blown throat-shredding power ballads like “I Can Feel a Hot One,” “My Friend Marcus,” and the title cut. Mean Everything to Nothing rocks out with such urgency and devotion that you have to admire the band’s ambition and sincerity and their commitment to good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll therapy.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

903 Ratings

Best Band to Use Music as Physical Empowerment.

ashleyxsunshine,

I remember first seeing Manchester Orchestra two years ago as they opened for Brand New at the Warfield in San Francisco. Having never heard them before, I was shocked and awed as song after song they rose me to tears with their inspiring musicianship and bold lyrics. I immediately bought Like a Virgin Losing a Child the next day, and haven't stopped listening to it since. After saying that, I believe it is an understatement to say how ecstatic I was in anticipation for their newest album. I bought it yesterday, and have been listening to it since. I find myself still eating up every word of every song, still feeling every beat of the drum, and still overjoyed with emotion while listening to their music. It is the second album I was hoping for by them, and my expectation was high. I must say, though, like any second album for a band or musician on the rise, the production value on the second album rose, which is not always for the better. The first album was very simply mixed so that the recordings almost felt like a perfect live performance, and that the music spoke just as much as the frontman. This album seems to be mixed much more, with vocals being toyed with to be louder, or lower, than the original vocalist's, and the drums being overdubbed and pumped up as well. I liked the organicism that the first album had over this one, but I cannot deny it the five stars it deserves, for the musicianship and the love that I feel coming from this band is more than anything that a producer can take away.

Do you love music?

mysoulspeaksthroughmusic,

Do you love music? Are you Passionate about it? Do you feel like you listen to music like none else?.. as if it speaks to your soul The feeling is unexplainable but if you do, and are looking for an album to give you that high. This album gives it to you like nothing else. ITS RAW. ITS REAL. ITS POWERFULL. Buy it. PERIOD.

About Manchester Orchestra

As led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Andy Hull, the maturity of Manchester Orchestra's songwriting belied the fact that the bandmembers were barely legal when their group sprung into existence. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the indie rock outfit grew out of songs that Hull had begun writing while attending high school. Encouraged by positive response, he opted for home schooling during his senior year, which afforded him enough time to compose and record in the studio. Friends began collaborating with him over time, and Manchester Orchestra soon solidified into a trio comprising Hull, bassist Jonathan Corley, and drummer Jeremiah Edmond.

Hull's songwriting noticeably progressed with the addition of his friends, and the band courted its first fans with an EP release. You Brainstorm, I Brainstorm, But Brilliance Needs a Good Editor thus appeared in 2005 through the band's own label, Favorite Gentlemen Recordings. With the EP out, Manchester Orchestra began playing shows around the Southeast and added keyboardist Chris Freeman to the mix. Buzz about the band's music began creating a stir beyond the Atlanta city limits, and the guys were invited to play slots at the South by Southwest and Lollapalooza festivals in 2006 before beginning to work on their full-length album that summer. The resulting I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child was issued by the year's end, offering up a poignant collection of memorable hooks and thoughtful narratives that showcased a similar style to acts like the Weakerthans and Death Cab for Cutie.

Eventually, studio intern turned guitarist Robert McDowell joined the lineup permanently, and as a steady buzz continued to grow -- especially on Internet blogs -- Manchester Orchestra snagged an opening spot on Brand New's largely sold-out tour in spring 2007. The increased exposure caught the interest of Canvasback Recordings, which reissued the band's debut album that summer. A second EP, Let My Pride Be What's Left Behind, followed in October 2008, and the band remained in the studio during the subsequent months to perfect its sophomore album. Released in 2009, Mean Everything to Nothing found the band working alongside producer Joe Chiccarelli, famous for his work with the Shins and My Morning Jacket. In 2011, the band released its third full-length studio album, Simple Math, a concept album built around Hull's life story. In 2014, Manchester Orchestra delivered a fourth album, the heavy, post-hardcore-infused Cope. That same year, the band returned with Hope, a companion piece to Cope, featuring reworked, largely acoustic versions of all the album's songs. ~ Corey Apar

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