Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math (Sony)

May 8, 2011 by  

Based on their name, you?d be forgiven, if of course you?re not already acquainted with the five piece that is Manchester Orchestra, for thinking that the band are a menagerie of brass and timpani with an allegiance to either City or United. Alas, this is obviously not the case.

Hailing from Atlanta, America?s Manchester Orchestra embrace a tapestry of texture in their sound ranging from angsty and overdriven guitars, tenderness and soaring strings. Somehow and successfully they whip this cocktail up to produce a special blend of music that sits somewhere beyond the school of Death Cab and Band of Horses.

Since their formation in 2005 the Orchestra have released three albums, with Simple Math being the latest and apart from the tender sounding opener Deer, this latest work swaggers about with the same tenacity as John Wayne in The Cowboys. Nowhere is this more present than on the cocksure sounding tracks Mighty and April Fool as filthy levels of guitar riffage blitz through the tracks like a Sherman tank out on manoeuvres.

Perhaps the greatest moment on Simple Math is the track of the same name, which sees fiddles soar above and the vocal talent that is Andy Hull belt out an ardent vocal that has so much warmth it could melt a frozen tub of Anchor butter. Somehow the band also manage to entwine a sonic barrage, which seems to be the Manchester Orchestra?s trademark way, giving it a distinct and pleasingly Band of Horses vibe.

In a way the Orchestra are a bit of an oddity as they take heavy riffs, belting vocals, moments of loud and soft, strings and organs, and meticulously, most of the time, get it all to work together, which is really noticeable on Simple Math.

Importantly this latest album showcases the fact that Manchester Orchestra are a band who certainly know how to do the math when it comes to putting a song together and it will be interesting to see what transpires from hereon for these Atlanta based musicians.