First Impressions: New Manchester Orchestra Single

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Yeah, so I’m giving Manchester Orchestra a lot of coverage lately. Between a bitchin’ bootleg and confirming them as the headliner for my school’s spring concert this year, I’d say it’s rightfully deserved. Today brought about two unexpected surprises: an April 21st release date for their next record, Mean Everything to Nothing, and a new single called “I’ve Got Friends.”

I remember seeing the band last January at the Living Room in Providence, RI(P). They were headlining one of WBRU’s awesome Cheap Date concert series. They played a few new songs, all of which had the uncanny ability to clearly recall what bands had influenced Manchester Orchestra while still retaining their own uniqueness. “Black Man” sounded like a rough draft of Nirvana’s “Lithium,” and after “Shake it Out” I remember thinking they’d been hanging out with Colour Revolt a lot more.

I’ve only listened to the single two or three times right now, but such is the point of a first impression. And yeah, like the others, it’s easy to pick out most of the bands Manchester’s toured with lately. The whole thing’s got kind of an intense Brand New feel, layered with “oh-oh-oh”s ripped straight from Kevin Devine books and a few Annuals-reminiscent “ba-ba”s.

Of everything I’ve heard off the new Manchester album, through bootlegs or otherwise, I think I might venture to say I like “I’ve Got Friends” the least. Nothing about this review is trying to imply it’s a bad song or that Manchester Orchestra is a cover band. They just wear their influences very prominently on their sleeves. Fortunately, their influences are fucking awesome.


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