Review Summary: I'd rather have a broken arm than have my arms around you.
Before there was “I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child,” “Mean Everything to Nothing,” and even Manchester Orchestra, there was a budding songwriter in his junior year of high school. Taking the following year off from school, the songwriter quickly became a sensation in the Atlanta region, showcasing his talent and great potential. Soon after, the individual acquired a band that would aid in both changing his life, and propelling his success. Yes, that songwriter was Andy Hull, and that band was Manchester Orchestra. In 2005, Manchester Orchestra recorded their first EP, “I Brainstorm, You Brainstorm, But Brilliance Needs a Good Editor.” Although featuring just five tracks, this particular EP is what put Manchester Orchestra on the map, and made “I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child” and “Mean Everything to Nothing” possible.
When Andy Hull claims in the opening track The Procession
, “I'll break this guitar and board up these windows. Just make sure they know that I won't return,” it becomes apparent that his tortured songwriting will be a defining characteristic for the band. Each release from here on out has been similar; take the deep sorrow of I Can Feel a Hot One
and the blatant reality of I Can Barely Breathe
into account. The following tracks are no different, for Hull is constantly blunt, distressed, and revealing the terrible reality at which is his life. Each of these tracks are just as passionate as the last, giving the indication that Hull really does feel and believe in his music. I’d Rather Have
is no exception, Hull suggests, “Well I would rather have a broken arm than have my arms around you.”
“I Brainstorm, You Brainstorm, But Brilliance Needs a Good Editor” as you can imagine has a similar sound to “I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child.” In fact, this EP includes the original version of Alice and Interiors
in which can be found on the full-length debut record. The raw rock edge of “Mean Everything to Nothing” has yet to be seen here, for this is a much more mellow album. At the record’s most chaotic moments, the electric guitar is at a warm and melodic level, something that continued on “I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child.” With that said however, the EP does not cease to be diverse, for Play it Again, Sam! You Don’t Have Any Feathers
offers a sparse acoustic piece in its entirety and Slow to Learn
is somewhat reminiscent of a pop-punk song. Slow to Learn
is an extremely catchy and upbeat piece, highlighted by captivating vocals and syncopated riff.
This 2005 EP, “I Brainstorm, You Brainstorm, But Brilliance Needs a Good Editor” offers the listener quite a bit, and provides them with a taste of what is to come for Manchester Orchestra. The band has grown immensely from here to this year’s “Mean Everything to Nothing,” but this EP is precisely what propelled the band to where they are today. Overall five solid, to even great tracks are presented here, and is an essential listen for Manchester Orchestra fans.
Alice and Interiors
Slow to Learn