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Manchester Orchestra preview

| May 4, 2009 | 0 Comments

Subterranean, Chicago
Friday, May 8, 2009

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Just babies when their first album arrived, Manchester Orchestra’s Mean Everything To Nothing presents the band a chance to show us just exactly who they are.

Instead, they opt for Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity maxim, “What really matters is what you like, not what you are like.” Frontman Andy Hull, just 17 when the debut was written, has simply had time to exhaust his Death Cab For Cutie and Bright Eyes records and discover Neutral Milk Hotel. The album is filled with adolescent rage, most of which recalls Bright Eyes offshoot Desaparecidos in its loud/soft volatility, while railing at non-specific third parties. What the band lack in originality, they more than compensate for in performance. Producer Joe Chiccarelli pushes the band to match their stage antics, so much that even “Pride”‘s muscular, classic-rock riffage forsakes bluesy R&B for total agitation. On “Shake It Out,” it’s as if you can see the band chasing after Hull to make sure he doesn’t burst into an encore before they can pick up their instruments. Things eventually settle for the Everclear-ish crunch of “Tony The Tiger” and a soaring “The River.” The wind-down doesn’t equal growth, however, as hidden track (oooh, how ’90s!) “Jimmy, He Whispers” finds Hull nostalgically sifting through his Conor Oberst collection.

Audrye Sessions and Winston Radio open.

Steve Forstneger

Click here to sample Mean Everything To Nothing.

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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