BY JOHN B. MOORE
As there is no standard formula for a Manchester Orchestra record, those expecting Cope to sound anything like the band’s three previous records are bound to be a little confused. The songs here are stripped down quite a bit from 2011’s concept record Simple Math, less experimental and a little darker. But taken as a whole, Cope is still strongly relevant.
Lyrically, frontman Andy Hull sticks to one-off topics and the guitars are much more straight forward and focused on this one, creating a more accessible vibe. Since their inception, the band has also straddled that fence between punk and indie rock and this latest seems to find them inching closer to the Indie Camp, with songs like the “Girl Harbor,” and “All That I Really Wanted” easily two of the best tracks the band has ever recorded.
The album, the first with a brand new rhythm section, was recorded once and scrapped in its entirety as the band opted to start over. The result is slightly uneven, but ultimately has some fantastic songs on it.
DOWNLOAD: “Girl Harbor,” “The Mansion” and “All That I Really Wanted”