Friday, December 30, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of 2011 -- #29: "April Fool" -- Manchester Orchestra

Atlanta rockers Manchester Orchestra returned in a big way in 2011 with Simple Math, the newest progression for a band that's been a rising star since 2006. Led by bearded wonder/seriously-though-he-should-be-in-Fleet-Foxes Andy Hull, the band created a record that likely would have hit numerous year-end best-of lists, had 2011 simply not have been as good as it ended up being. A contender early on, sure. Maybe next time, boys.

But of course there were high points, and at the highest sits "April Fool," a rollicking firework of a song that features some of Hull's most on-the-edge vocals and the rest of the band's most devastating guitar riffs.

Hull's hoarse howl is ever-present here, as it often is when the band is at its best. And when he delves into impassioned screams, you know he's singing his heart out. That's not to say "April Fool" is necessarily a highly emotional tune, but Hull really means what he's singing, and puts his entire being into it.

The guitar hooks, while perhaps not as memorable as "Pride"'s down-and-dirty riffage, provide the song with a chugging centrifuge that speeds the song along at a sometimes blistering pace. Of course, this is helped along by the percussion, much looser here than ever before -- likely due to original drummer Jeremiah Edmond's departure.

The energy here is astounding, and is yet again a signifier of what Manchester Orchestra could accomplish if they could string together an entire album of gems such as this. One day, Manchester's going to write one of the best rock records of our generation -- I still stand by this statement years later. But until then, a fantastic song here and there isn't bad.

No comments:


Blog Archive