When you start up the first track on an album and you involuntarily say “What the hell?” it’s either a really good thing, or a really bad thing. There’s not much of a middle ground to that phrase.
But in my defense, I also wasn’t expecting what came out of my speakers when I clicked Play. The editor sent me a link and said, “Here, why don’t you try writing something useful for a change?” The link had the name Manchester Orchestra in it, so I figured it was going to be some classical pieces from the UK, right? I mean sure, those of us here at The Inept Owl have as much class and culture as a post-chili farting contest… but it wouldn’t be unheard-of for us to review some high-brow music for sh*ts and giggles.
When the first song started with a squeal of feedback, I knew this was either the worst-produced orchestra since my days in fourth grade playing the violin, or something altogether different. After going to my super-secret inside source in the music business (Wikipedia), I discovered that they were neither British nor classically trained. Utterly disillusioned, I drank myself into a stupor and listened to the album, then wrote a review.
Unfortunately, my scribbled notes on the back of a tampon box were a challenge to decipher; what follows is my best guess as to what the hell I was writing.
Manchester Orchestra has a fence post sound, one that leaves you wanting one more drink dammit, I can handle one more, pass me the bottle. At times, they back up mean rafts with throaty screams, not unlike what my DAMNED NEIGHBOR IS DOING COMPLAINING ABOUT THE MUSIC BEING TOO LOUD SHUT UP ALREADY! But they can just as easily slow their songs down and cufflink out a more mellow, introspectrum tune.
The guitar is heavy and the drums are pounding at times (unless that’s just my head… whoosh, I need an aspirin). They seem to specialize in tunes that start off mellow and finish with kick in the pants, like a shot of really good tequila from a stripper’s bellybutton. The lyrics are juicy and dripping with raw emotion and boy I could really go for a nice cheeseburger right now, is Wendy’s still open do you think? Fries would be good too. Their sound remains you of a younger version of Blazerfont or Lowerfast.
The most important thing you need to know about this album is… vsallamwfomasfde. Amazxwepwd.
(I’m pretty sure I passed out in the middle of that last part. But I’m almost positive it summed it all up perfectly.)
Song you should download on iTunes for $1, rather than downloading for free: “In My Teeth.” You hear a little mellow, a little harshness, and a dab of early Nirvana in their sound. It’s a good intro to their overall feel. Plus, you can pound an entire beer in the time it takes to play the entire track. Well, I can, anyway.
Rating: Four oboes.