RATING: 10/10 

Just as we finalised our top records so far of 2017, the beautifully enigmatic Manchester Orchestra decided to release one of the most promising records of the last decade. Much like their USA counterparts, American Football, Manchester Orchestra is a band that has brewed with minimal attention and ego, instead concentrating their efforts on producing timeless records, of which A Black Mile To The Surface will inevitably become one of them.

Records rarely seem planned the whole way through these days, 12 back to back singles that are composed to express different scenarios and situations, but Manchester Orchestra have done what they simply do best, and that creates not only a narrative but a cinematic soundtrack that follows through. Whilst the intensity may rise at an almost alarming pace during the first half of the record, the layering of noise throughout tracks such as, Lead SD being comparable to what it would sound like to be caught in the midst of a global disaster, it’s the calm that follows that makes A.B.M.T.T.S differ from their past records.

“Manchester Orchestra have delivered a record that reminds us that there is still both light and darkness in this world”

Whilst we are now part of a generation that is far from being one full of the hopeless romanticism of the past, vocalist Andy Hull’s lyrical ability to reach into the very depth’s of even the darkest of hearts and bring these feelings to the surface is unbelievable. While lead single such as, The Alien demonstrates a more metaphorical approach, it’s the heart-wrenching pleas in the simply named, The Parts that had us fighting back tears. Lines such as, ‘At a loss I lost my cool, I denied that I found you’ in tracks such as ‘The Silence’ can be comparable to the genius that made Bon Iver win so many awards.

At a time of the year where pop punk is still steadily on the rise, and indie is producing radio friendly records that coincide with the small stints of the sunshine we’re receiving this summer, Manchester Orchestra have delivered a contrasting record that reminds us that there is still both light and darkness in this world no matter the month or season.

A Black Mile To The Surface is more than just the new Manchester Orchestra record, but an emotively detailed painting of even the most complex parts of the human spirit.

Manchester Orchestra return to the UK later this year, dates are as followed: 

21 MANCHESTER Academy 2
22 GLASGOW Garage
23 LEEDS Church Leeds
24 BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
26 LONDON Shepherds Bush Empire
27 BRIGHTON Concorde 2



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