The fact that this is a rock band and not an orchestra, and is from Atlanta, GA and not Manchester, UK, does not influence my feelings on the music. Let's not forget the Bay City Rollers were not from Michigan, they were Scottish. Hmmm.
In "Mean Everything To Nothing", Manchester Orchestra evokes the thrill of "alternative" revealing its secrets (and rendering its moniker useless) to the mainstream ca 1991-1993, as though seminal Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana records from those days were implanted in their DNA.
Silversun Pickups, while playing in the same ballpark as Manchester Orchestra, has probably done a better job thus far at starting to carve its own identity out of this template. Manchester Orchestra, despite leader Andy Hull's burgeoning gift for melodic hookiness, still lurks under the long shadows of their genre/influences...
With a little emo-screamo here ("Shake It Out", "The River"), maybe a little Jane's Addiction there ("I've Got Friends"), a thick slab of Black Sabbath here ("Pride", and they should send Tommy Iommi a check), Nirvana there ("In My Teeth"), Bright Eyes flare-ups here and there, Manchester Orchestra still might have a ways to go to implant themselves in someone else's DNA, but they're sure making a joyfully tortured noise as they try to crack the code. A particularly fabulous part, for me, was the outro of "Everything to Nothing", an unexpected circus waltz trailing out of the body of the song as though viewing it from above, in a dream.