Loma Vista/ Favorite Gentlemen
If this was 1994, the year Kurt Cobain’s suicide left a gaping void on the alt-rock landscape, Manchester Orchestra would arguably be the biggest band in the world.
Few acts in the last 20 years have matched Nirvana’s penchant for quiet-loud tonal shifts, anguished anthems, pummeling hooks, and sing-along choruses. And M.O. frontman Andy Hull is among a select group of singer-songwriters capable of Cobain’s blend of emotional depth, existential angst, potent dynamics and unbridled passion.
Hull, who started the band at age 16, has always seemed mature and gifted beyond his years. But recently his band has suffered numerous heavy blows: They lost their record label (ATO) and their rhythm section (Jeremiah Edmond and Jonathan Corley). After bringing on new bassist Andy Prince and drummer Tim Very they started working on their fourth album, but ultimately scrapped all but a few of their 14 songs.
Still, Cope proves more than worth the 3-year wait, full of arena-ready anthems. Where Simple Math was texturally varied and deeply conceptual, this album is 38 solid minutes of unrelenting rock, trading space and dynamics for an intense sense of urgency rarely heard on today’s dancefloor-obsessed music scene. Kurt Cobain would be proud.
Photo courtesy of Chaos Mag