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Manchester Orchestra: So Much To Answer For

The New Now

The city of Manchester, England has spawned a number of incredibly great bands over the years from recent entries the Ting Tings to the Buzzcocks, Joy Division, Oasis, and the Smiths. In fact, lyrics from the latter act's "Suffer Little Children" inspired the headline of this very blog. Manchester Orchestra, however, isn't just another great band from Manchester. They're not even British. They hail from Atlanta, Georgia, but they're still pretty damned good. Check out the video for "I've Got Friends" from the band's recently released album Mean Everything To Nothing.

Formed in 2005 when singer/guitarist Andy Hull was still in high school, the five-piece Manchester Orchestra is very much a band, although Hull remains its mastermind.
Mean Everything To Nothing is the band's second album and judging by its early chart showing, Manchester Orchestra has already broken out beyond cult status. Last week, the album entered The Billboard 200 at No. 37, which is quite an impressive feat for a young rock band. Perhaps more importantly, the album has reached No. 7 on the magazine's Tastemakers chart, while the single "I've Got Friends," has cracked the Modern Rock Tracks list. Yet Mean Everything To Nothing doesn't just feature one good track, it's a fine album through and through. The band thought so much of the material on Mean Everything To Nothing that it commissioned Emmy Award-winning director Clay Lipsky and Jason Bognacki of Destroy Rock Music to create a video clip for each song on the album. Check out this clip for "Shake It Out," another cut from Mean Everything To Nothing.

Part of the reason Mean Everything To Nothing may sound so good is the fact that Manchester Orchestra enlisted Grammy-winning producer/engineer Joe Chiccarelli--known for his work with the Shins, My Morning Jacket, and the Raconteurs--to produce the album. Keyboardist Chris Freeman told CoolJunkie.com he was impressed by Chiccarelli's resume when Hull brought him up as a possible producer and noted his credentials. "Every album he mentioned was one of my favorites of the last five years," he said. 

 

While working on Mean Everything To Nothing, Manchester Orchestra drew on inspiration from some of its favorite albums, including Weezer's Pinkterton, Nirvana's In Utero, and Foo Fighters' Colour And The Shape. Do you think the Manchester Orchestra's latest reaches such great heights? As for the Smiths and Manchester, Freeman has an answer for my Morrissey-inspired headline. "We listened to the Smiths a lot," he recently told CoolJunkie.com. "That's the reason we're named Manchester Orchestra, because Andy had been in love with Morrissey at the time."

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