13. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing
Long awaited, this album was one of those I was really looking forward last year. After the Atlanta, Georgia band's debut album I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child in 2006, I had seen them perform twice each in Manchester and at Leeds Festival. These live shows gave a lot of promise for this album, with much more pronounced guitars, heavier, more complex drums and nice beefy bass lines.
I received my pre-ordered copy in the post a day before release, and not a single lecture was attended. There is certainly a lot of maturity being shown from the first album. Lyrically, Andy Hull is growing ever more potent. There are far fewer (if any) sombre, morose entries than I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child, replaced with clearly defined, punchy riffs and catchy phrases and melodies. A fantastic album, and I feel this may still be early days for this fine band!
Highlights: Shake it Out, Tony the Tiger, In My Teeth, Pride and I Can Feel a Hot One.