The Maccabees ‘Wall of Arms’ – Review

8 Jun

Until recently I considered The Maccabees a singles band. Their debut ‘Colour it in’ had some wonderful songs such as ‘First love’ and ‘Toothpaste Kisses’, but it also had a lot of filler and didn’t make for an all round grea listen. This time round they have rectified the situation and made a proper start to finish album although they have unfortunatley forgotton the singles.

It begins with their best shot at a hit, ‘Love you better’ which is a great statement of intent musically and sets the tone for the rest of the album. ‘Young Lions’ and ‘No kind Words’ are stand out tracks, broody and intense, but rarely do the band stray from this formula. Things get slightly more upbeat on Dinosaurs, one of the few tracks that would have sounded at home on their debut. ‘Kiss and resolve’ on the other hand is a much improved upgrade. Orlando’s vocals are a pleasure, whether drenched in echo or double tracked as they usually are on here. In fact he is one of the better British vocalists of recent years and I would question whether it was necessary to mess around with his vox quite as much as this producer does.

Things get a bit too samey at the end, much as they did on the first album although it’s fair to say ‘Wall of Arms’ doesn’t suffer quite as much with consistency. Then again it doesn’t have the giddy highs the debut did either. ‘Wall of Arms’ is a very solid second album, The Maccabees certainly haven’t stumbled as many bands do and they have attempted to expand the stiff and dry sound of their debut with mixed, but mostly satisfactory results. It’s certainly a grower.



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