Cope, the newest album from Georgia based Manchester Orchestra, can only be described as alternative. When one first sits down to listen to it, you get completely lost as to how to properly categorize them, and therefore they fall into that all-encompassing “alternative” category. That being said, Cope encompasses tones from metal, pop-punk and grunge genres.
Lead singer Andy Hull has a high range that falls somewhere between Robert Plant, Geddy Lee and Perry Ferrel, while guitarist Robert McDowell is reminiscent of Iron Maiden, with intricate lead lines that handle both distortion and a melodic tone. In fact, the entire album works to properly balance those two qualities, and the result is a graceful, almost indescribable tone that carries great weight and meaning while still remaining light enough for an everyday listen. A perfect example of this is their song “The Ocean.” The tune has very minimal distortion, which works to support the vocals and leave the reader with an almost melancholy feeling.
The entirety of Cope works really nicely as a whole. The tracks were clearly chosen with care. The songs flow together nicely and have a tone that carries from track one through track eleven. By no means is the album is repetitive– rather, the album is clearly one band with one focus for their music. Despite the difficulty in categorization them, they successfully write all their songs in a smorgasbord of sound.
Cope is the perfect album for someone looking for a sound that isn’t quite distorted, but not clean either. It’s the kind of music that will provide a lot if you listen closely, but it also works as music to just leave on. Manchester Orchestra’s sound is a truly fresh and interesting one that comes highly recommended.