Album review: Manchester Orchestra’s ‘Cope’

The latest from the Atlanta-based quintet is unapologetically loud

By MacKenzie Reagan | April 1, 2014

Tags: Music Reviews


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In a recent interview with SPIN, the Atlanta indie-rockers of Manchester Orchestra said that, with their newest album, they “wanted to make the kind of album that's missing at this time in rock. … Something that's just brutal and pounding you over the head with every track, something unrelenting and unapologetic.”

Cope, the band’s fourth release, is certainly loud. It’s not made for casual listening with your headphones in. No, this is one of those albums that must be angstily blasted from your high school bedroom’s speakers loud enough to make your parents groan.

The band compensates for their excessive volume and bravado with a disappointing lack of creativity. It’s not worth holding specific songs culpable; all tracks sound more or less alike on the album, the band’s first since 2011. While the first track is entitled “Top Notch,” the ensuing 38 minutes beg to differ.

The band, who played The Blue Note in November, closes its latest with the title track. Fitting, as listeners will be searching for ways to “cope” after being subjected to Manchester Orchestra’s cacophony of distorted guitars and screams of angst.

If you’re shopping for your younger sibling caught in his or her rebellious phase, Cope makes the perfect Easter basket gift. But for anyone not looking to have their eardrums busted by fuzzy yelling and wailing guitar solos, we’d suggest leaving this one on the shelf.

MOVE gives Manchester Orchestra’s Cope 1 out of 5 stars.

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