Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra could have been a bad band. Their harder, more emotional rock could have easily veered into emo, heavy, or both, becoming Vans Warped Tour-approved tattooed rock ‘n’ roll. Yet main man Andy Hull has somehow managed to find what’s right about emotional rock, without going overboard, and that continues with Cope.
After leaving the indiesphere and fully embracing the emotional rock with 2009’s Mean Everything To Nothing (QRO review), Manchester Orchestra filled in their bigger sound with 2011’s Simple Math (QRO review). Cope keeps up that Math, and while that might make for a similar even record, that’s a good record. There are particularly effective pieces such as “Every Stone” and the brighter (without being ‘bright’) “Girl Harbor”, but even the simpler emotion of “Indentions” goes big well. The album closes relatively heavy with “See It Again” and the title track (“Cope” opens & closes with the “Iron Man” riff), but doesn’t rely on heaviness (though the staccato to “The Ocean” and grind of “Trees” isn’t as effective).
Manchester Orchestra are long since past needing to worry about hipsters or proving themselves to pure rock ‘n’ roll fans. Cope is unapologetically exactly what you’re looking for from a new Manchester Orchestra record.