thread of best rock album of year 2017, 'a black mile to the surface' by manchester orchestra

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i have listened to this three times in a row today and i kind of feel like it's the best record of its kind since brand new's the devil and god are raging inside me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaeWss85_vg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hru_Dzv1olM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71U_qjHLM58

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 28 July 2017 16:18 (three years ago) link

looking forward to digging into this

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Friday, 28 July 2017 16:47 (three years ago) link

noticed this comparison in the Exclaim rave, might be worth exploring

With songs that are crisp, emotive and hymn-like, Black Mile can prompt admiring comparisons to Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket; it's also probably the closest thing to the little-known yet incredible Clean Head by Oceana, an EP that never got the proper followup it deserved.

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Friday, 28 July 2017 17:00 (three years ago) link

Alien -> Sunshine -> Grocery is just absurd

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Friday, 28 July 2017 17:14 (three years ago) link

yeah it is!

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 28 July 2017 17:29 (three years ago) link

I wouldn't think to compare this to The Devil and God - it feels much more even-keeled emotionally, dynamically, sonically - but it sure is gorgeous. Is there a good interview or writeup somewhere that talks about the overarching concept or w/ever?

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Friday, 28 July 2017 17:37 (three years ago) link

i mean i'm not comparing it sonically, mostly just as really coherent album statement that seems to totally fulfill the band's potential in atmosphere and depth

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 28 July 2017 17:43 (three years ago) link

rock albums assembled in such a way that they seem to get deeper as they go

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 28 July 2017 17:47 (three years ago) link

yeah I can def hear that.

the Oceana EP mentioned in that writeup is actually a pretty apt comparison!

https://open.spotify.com/track/4452im0oupzzOYPHCqcLyx

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Friday, 28 July 2017 17:51 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQh3k-n_tcQ

this song is so fucking good

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 28 July 2017 17:51 (three years ago) link

the piercing harmonies in "the moth" are like

http://68.media.tumblr.com/d9d94c54bf63885abc4eb0eaeaa2348b/tumblr_otmh5bYkWq1s86mfwo2_250.gif

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 28 July 2017 21:31 (three years ago) link

I'll try these tubes. I still find it weird that the cd I got from them in 2006 (LP2) looks like something they burned themselves

the ghost of lorax past (FlopsyDuck), Friday, 28 July 2017 22:31 (three years ago) link

the cd I got from them in 2006 (LP2)

you mean i'm like a virgin losing a child? i've never owned that one but i guess it wouldn't surprise me if its presentation were super austere

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Saturday, 29 July 2017 15:58 (three years ago) link

i have listened to only this album for the past 24 hours. i have decided the best moment is in "the grocery" is when he sings "this is the onlyyyy. WAYYYYY to go"

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Saturday, 29 July 2017 16:00 (three years ago) link

I'm still deciding how I feel about the dialed-back intensity but the cohesiveness and command of mood is really impressive

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Saturday, 29 July 2017 16:32 (three years ago) link

this is great. a band i've been ignoring for years, basically.

i don't really know their earlier stuff. is this one of the better rock bands that the "cool" music press has been ignoring for a decade in favor of declaring rock dead?

alpine static, Sunday, 30 July 2017 23:57 (three years ago) link

With songs that are crisp, emotive and hymn-like, Black Mile can prompt admiring comparisons to Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket; it's also probably the closest thing to the little-known yet incredible Clean Head by Oceana, an EP that never got the proper followup it deserved.

― a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Friday, July 28, 2017 10:00 AM (three days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I heard a lot of BoH when I listened to this. might just be his vox.

Spottie, Monday, 31 July 2017 19:58 (three years ago) link

i don't really know their earlier stuff. is this one of the better rock bands that the "cool" music press has been ignoring for a decade in favor of declaring rock dead?

yep!! also if you dig this record you'd probably also like mean everything to nothing

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 31 July 2017 20:00 (three years ago) link

good to know.

def BOH happening, not just in the vox, xpost. i don't mind, i like BOH

alpine static, Monday, 31 July 2017 20:06 (three years ago) link

yeah i dont mind altho I havent listened to BoH since their 2nd album i dont think.

Spottie, Monday, 31 July 2017 20:17 (three years ago) link

Lead, SD is really really good and imo very essential to the album

I'm still deciding how I feel about the dialed-back intensity but the cohesiveness and command of mood is really impressive

― a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Saturday, July 29, 2017 9:32 AM (two days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i think the heavier moments on here feel earned, cos of this ^

Spottie, Monday, 31 July 2017 20:22 (three years ago) link

I'm down w the wall of reverb that closes out the album.

Spottie, Monday, 31 July 2017 20:25 (three years ago) link

felt weird fastening the word "rock" to the thread title as it applied way more to their previous record, cope, which is pretty paint-peeling and has like 100000 guitars overdubbed on it which consume all of the remaining instruments; this is chamber music in comparison, but the overwhelming sense of dread running through all of their music is sustained on this record and is even kinda dramatically enhanced by the immaculate production

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 31 July 2017 20:29 (three years ago) link

I need to go listen to Cope then

Spottie, Monday, 31 July 2017 20:36 (three years ago) link

i like how impressionist the lyrics are that's what reminds me the most of devil + god that kind of abstract emo'tion. it's just painfully beautiful at some pts.

Mordy, Monday, 31 July 2017 20:48 (three years ago) link

brad how have you never forced me to listen to Cope!? this is crazy good. fitting my mood much more rn.

Spottie, Tuesday, 1 August 2017 22:18 (three years ago) link

thought this was good
http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/manchester-orchestra-a-black-mile-to-the-surface/

Spottie, Monday, 7 August 2017 22:27 (three years ago) link

Hull’s been given some serious source material, namely the birth of his daughter and co-writing the mostly a cappella soundtrack for the farcical body comedy Swiss Army Man. One might think exposure to that much real and cinematic flatulence might lighten Hull’s mood a little.

Mordy, Monday, 7 August 2017 22:35 (three years ago) link

kinda glossed over that part.

Spottie, Monday, 7 August 2017 23:03 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

no one *ever* talks to me about new music irl (outside of ilxors i'm in touch w/) but sure enough i was at a party on saturday and two friends asked me about seeing manchester orchestra next month. i said to myself, "hey, there was a recent ilx thread about them!" and that i would probably be down.

i like this album, it was made by ppl who understand and love rock albums.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 23 August 2017 01:42 (three years ago) link

It's funny how much sonic DNA this and the new Brand New wound up sharing

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 23 August 2017 01:50 (three years ago) link

otm

Mordy, Wednesday, 23 August 2017 02:36 (three years ago) link

they both sound perfect to me atm

Mordy, Wednesday, 23 August 2017 02:36 (three years ago) link

i had not heard about this band until tonight and this album is hella excellent

seven mambas (m bison), Wednesday, 23 August 2017 03:30 (three years ago) link

i have been listening to this nonstop for days.

seven mambas (m bison), Sunday, 27 August 2017 04:24 (three years ago) link

Way back when, in my limited exposure, I thought this band sounded a bit like a b-list Arcade Fire. I hadn't heard anything from them until this album, which I sought out due to ILX enthusiasm, and ... well, still sort of sounds like AF to me, specifically "The Suburbs," which I like, but I couldn't make it through this album. Maybe it's his voice? I'll give it another shot soon at some point. Want to try to Brand New, too, though I've never heard a note of that band and think I always thought of them as, like, Yellowcard or something.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 27 August 2017 13:29 (three years ago) link

Should concede that I know next to nothing about "emo" as a genre, short Rites of Spring and Jimmy Eat World, so maybe it's just not for me.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 27 August 2017 13:30 (three years ago) link

their label's marketing has been effective on social media in that I see reference to this thing non stop all the time, everywhere, despite no one I personally know ever recommending it

akm, Sunday, 27 August 2017 13:31 (three years ago) link

i don't really hear anything tying this band to arcade fire but i get hull's voice potentially being a dealbreaker

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Sunday, 27 August 2017 14:18 (three years ago) link

i regret the thread title but how could i have known that brand new would release a record this year

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Sunday, 27 August 2017 14:18 (three years ago) link

i like this album, it was made by ppl who understand and love rock albums.

otm

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Sunday, 27 August 2017 14:19 (three years ago) link

I was not into that brand new lp, but I've never been a fan

seven mambas (m bison), Sunday, 27 August 2017 17:53 (three years ago) link

xxp - Fleet Foxes is what the singer's voice reminds me of.

ArchCarrier, Sunday, 27 August 2017 19:24 (three years ago) link

i really liked the video for The Gold

Karl Malone, Sunday, 27 August 2017 19:33 (three years ago) link

A weird album for me. I love the first three tracks and the last four, but the four in the middle don't do anything. It's like a big black hole in the middle of the album. I'll keep trying, maybe they'll grow on me.

ArchCarrier, Monday, 28 August 2017 11:29 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

the silence and the grocery are just massive

just another (diamonddave85), Thursday, 14 September 2017 13:20 (three years ago) link

i have decided the best moment is in "the grocery" is when he sings "this is the onlyyyy. WAYYYYY to go"

this, with 'there is nothing you keep, there is only a reflection' in the silence being a close 2nd

just another (diamonddave85), Thursday, 14 September 2017 13:22 (three years ago) link

"lead, sd" is prob my favorite song of the year

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Tuesday, 19 September 2017 20:26 (three years ago) link

yeah

Spottie, Tuesday, 19 September 2017 20:27 (three years ago) link

some of the guitar tones and the more circuitous playing on this record remind me of later red house painters/early sun kil moon

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Tuesday, 19 September 2017 20:49 (three years ago) link

surprising no one, i discovered today that i've been really underrating simple math since it came out

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Sunday, 25 April 2021 21:20 (one month ago) link

my second fave after black mile now

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Sunday, 25 April 2021 21:25 (one month ago) link

MA at their most MOR? not that I'm complaining. I get pearl jam vibes on occasion

I pretend it starts with "pensacola" tbh, first songs feel like a throat clearing to me

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Sunday, 25 April 2021 22:03 (one month ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R4gSeY0XtY

very black mile, gorgeous song

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Tuesday, 27 April 2021 14:27 (one month ago) link

it's out there

holy cow "inaudible" sounds incredible

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Thursday, 29 April 2021 13:36 (one month ago) link

heard a new song on the radio, was really good

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 29 April 2021 13:45 (one month ago) link

oh wow the second half is A Moon Shaped Pool-core emo, here for this

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Thursday, 29 April 2021 14:00 (one month ago) link

or at least that's how "dinosaur" struck me

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Thursday, 29 April 2021 14:01 (one month ago) link

this is the best album ever

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 29 April 2021 14:03 (one month ago) link

Lol.

Is it out tomorrow then?

groovypanda, Thursday, 29 April 2021 14:54 (one month ago) link

'tis

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Thursday, 29 April 2021 14:56 (one month ago) link

surprising no one, i discovered today that i've been really underrating simple math since it came out

― mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson)

Brad, the first time I listened to Simple Math, I cried. Great album, great title track, great music video.

Man, I'm so glad that I've (finally) Got Friends that like Manchester Orchestra. Andy Hull is one of my favorite musicians alive, and I really love how distinct his voice is. Then again, I also love Coheed and Cambria and many people find Claudio difficult to listen to.

And I'm so behind that I didn't realize that he had a side project with freakin' Kevin Devine.

hourspass, Thursday, 29 April 2021 19:05 (one month ago) link

this album is so rad. i a/b’d it with black mile today, i think black mile is so close to a platonically perfect album from these guys for me that it’s hard to measure up, like... “the moth” and “lead, sd” are like these rocking engines of dread and i’m still totally blown away by them. and “the grocery” and “the mistake” are the two best manchester orchestra songs of all time

but this album comes really fucking close. my favorite is “obstacle” and i cannot believe they managed to hit this balance between inward acoustic guitar stuff and full prog bridges but that’s what really impresses me about “dinosaur” and “obstacle”

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 30 April 2021 02:34 (one month ago) link

Cope/Hope -> Black Mile felt like a seismic shift to me, just a huge shift in scale and level of execution. this otoh feels more like Black Mile II than I was expecting, and not just because of the little reprises. andy is such a confident singer now that, ironically, it leads me to pay more attention to the lyrics, and his constant first-person passionate stadium yearning feels like it has sacrificed a bit of specificity. but it's v v good and the songs you cite show some real growth. otoh I would absolutely kill for a whole album of "keel timing" / "bed head" style actual pop-adjacent stuff, those are amazing songs

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Friday, 30 April 2021 03:18 (one month ago) link

i don’t even really know the details of the overlapping recursively constructed storylines on black mile but relistening to the record today i was taken aback by how emotionally devastating certain lines from that record are, often bc they seem to revolve around this inexorable horrible thing happening or having happened. ugh what a powerful album. glad i made a thread for it lol

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 30 April 2021 03:36 (one month ago) link

yeah I never even remotely grokked the "concept" of that album (even by concept album standards, hull's are super vague and evasive to me) but it's incredibly cohesive, and feels unified by the "you can't take it with you" theme. it's not clear to me what the driving force of this one is by comparison, though I did read about the grief angle.

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Friday, 30 April 2021 04:10 (one month ago) link

I doubt we'll get a better *sounding* rock record this year, I will say that. this thing sparkles!

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Friday, 30 April 2021 04:13 (one month ago) link

fun to see you on my other music message board, simon. the quality of discourse there really makes ilx look like the fucking algonquin table in comparison

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 30 April 2021 14:12 (one month ago) link

hahaha yeah it is WILD there huh? I'm just getting the lay of the land

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Friday, 30 April 2021 14:18 (one month ago) link

it’s really nice that we don’t talk about vinyl variants constantly here

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 30 April 2021 14:19 (one month ago) link

I got drunk and listened to this last night and MAN, this album flowed beautifully. Felt very complete as an album, but Manchester Orchestra usually doesn't miss as far as album building. Every single song fits perfectly.

hourspass, Friday, 30 April 2021 17:47 (one month ago) link

where's the other board? i wanna check it out

alpine static, Friday, 30 April 2021 17:52 (one month ago) link

no it’s better that you don’t know

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 30 April 2021 17:54 (one month ago) link

well, it may not be quite as good as black mile to me but i'm fully obsessed with this record

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 3 May 2021 20:07 (one month ago) link

"keel timing" is such a banger and i don't think i fully recognized that before i heard the whole thing

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 3 May 2021 20:17 (one month ago) link

I feel you, Brad. I don't know if I happened to be in the right headspace for this album (Million Masks, I mean) to really resonate in me, but MAN, I've found myself drifting back to it over and over this weekend and listening to it IN ITS ENTIRETY.

hourspass, Monday, 3 May 2021 20:19 (one month ago) link

"let it storm" -> "dinosaur" -> "obstacle" -> "way back," aka the sequence where every song seems to be even better than the last

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 3 May 2021 20:37 (one month ago) link

omg this album. the back to back of "keel timing" and "bed head"!

Tim F, Wednesday, 5 May 2021 08:20 (one month ago) link

"obstacle" is just lovely.

Tim F, Wednesday, 5 May 2021 08:29 (one month ago) link

the guitar solo in "the internet"!

Tim F, Wednesday, 5 May 2021 08:43 (one month ago) link

one of my favorite moments on the record def

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 15:57 (one month ago) link

once again playing this record and thinking "wow i sure love this record"

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 16:03 (one month ago) link

first few listens to this album i would get "keel timing" stuck in my head and then it would morph into "bed head," which, the two songs are similar by design, and there are several twinned songs on this record ("dinosaur" and "obstacle" are two others imo) and even between this record and black mile ("the mistake" seems to get revived in a different register at the end of "angel of death"; "the internet" is clearly a variation on "the silence," also i think the song titles are meant to be opposites which makes me lol). i was unsure how i felt about this at first, like, shouldn't these songs have more of their own identity, but i've found that it's really drawn me in deeper to the world of the record

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 May 2021 16:43 (one month ago) link

oh the verses of "annie" also seems to rhyme with "the mistake"

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 May 2021 16:44 (one month ago) link

i guess you'd think all these inter-song echoes would make the world of each record feel narrower but it actually makes it bigger, like the low-key mysticism people find in coincidence

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 May 2021 16:49 (one month ago) link

I can't help but long for a little more specificity in Andy's lyrics...like I would never have had any idea about the "concept" aspects were it not for extramusical interview chatter and internet speculation. mostly I hear a lot of first-person angst from a bunch of undifferentiated "characters"

ironically I think I notice this more now because he's grown so much as a vocalist

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Thursday, 6 May 2021 16:52 (one month ago) link

the concept of the album is not as huge and ranging as a black mile, it is just about contending with death afaict... it makes it less impressive(?) lyrically but some of it still really strikes me ("daddy's at the hospital / the gator finally got him")

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 May 2021 17:00 (one month ago) link

i guess i'm going through the whole discography again

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 May 2021 19:47 (one month ago) link

That's not a bad idea. Listening to Mean Everything To Nothing is good for me anytime and all the time.

hourspass, Thursday, 6 May 2021 21:38 (one month ago) link

i’m like a virgin is a really good record but the production... isn’t amazing. very 2006 dry and brittle indie rock tones. annoyed that the acoustic tracks are mastered at a different volume than the rest of the record. i know people who still think is their best, which i think i understand... there’s this eerie open-ended feeling that persists through the second half. but it’s also just a little rickety compared to the fully-formed albums that come after it. maybe i’d feel different if i’d heard it at the time, i only got into it in the last few years

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 May 2021 22:03 (one month ago) link

i've been listening to mean everything to nothing since 2009 (i checked it out because i saw manchester orchestra open for brand new in san jose and ... didn't quite know if i liked them or not) so it's hard for me to think any new things about it. it's a really great record, production is incredible, guitar tones are perfect warm buzzes especially on "in my teeth" and they start doing that built to spill-esque overdriven dual guitar effect i love dearly on both this album and simple math. really weirdly constructed, it shifts gears about five times in the opening run and then settles into a kind of suite of gentle epics in the second half from "i can feel a hot one" to "the river." i read an interview with hull where he said he recorded the vocals when he was sick so they would sound as shredded as possible so now i can't stop thinking about that when i'm listening, thanks andy

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 7 May 2021 00:45 (one month ago) link

Surprised there's been no Pitchfork review of this yet

groovypanda, Wednesday, 12 May 2021 10:01 (one month ago) link

still listening to this like once a day

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:27 (one month ago) link

"bed head" song of the year

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 13 May 2021 14:03 (one month ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj2hSxy8kbU

groovypanda, Saturday, 22 May 2021 20:56 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Really liking this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrAURfbK8Ls

groovypanda, Wednesday, 9 June 2021 07:58 (one week ago) link

new MO number for a DC soundtrack thingie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OMpofOS85o

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Wednesday, 9 June 2021 13:48 (one week ago) link

this might be a controversial opinion but I think Million Masks is even greater record than A Black Mile to the Surface? It doesn't have highlights like "Lead, SD", but as a whole I think it flows better.

braised cod, Tuesday, 22 June 2021 18:11 (one hour ago) link

ha, I almost revived this thread to say that on recent revisit I felt an emptiness/hollowness that's difficult to put my finger on, I think it's mainly that I'm struggling to connect with the lyrics. I think by the end I'm also a little worn out by the roaring climaxes

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Tuesday, 22 June 2021 18:16 (one hour ago) link

i think i might agree it’s even better than the last one

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Tuesday, 22 June 2021 18:25 (one hour ago) link


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