Album Review – Maccabees

The Maccabees_Marks To Prove It_album artwork[3]

Maccabees -‘Marks To Prove It.’ (Fiction)

The Maccabees have spoken about this, their fourth album, as being a difficult one to make. The word ‘traumatic’ has been banded about. This seems to be as much to do with the fast-changing world around the five-piece in their base of Elephant and Castle in South London as well as the pressure of following up their most commercially successful album yet, 2012’s Mercury-nominated Given To The Wild.

The album opens with the fantastic rush of the title track. Strangely, it’s melodically reminiscent of Beck’s ‘The New Pollution’ (without actually sounding much like it). It’s an opener that grabs your attention and sets you up for what newcomers might assume is a mix of the fun of Supergrass meeting the energy of The Cribs.

…only, the album doesn’t actually pan out like that. The next couple of tracks are melancholic, which is fine in itself, but it’s a dirge-like melancholy like you would find on a run of the mill indie-by-numbers record. Whilst it strives for authenticity, it’s not anything new, and despite listening to the album several times, I found my attention wondering at this point, frankly.

On the fourth track, ‘Spit It Out’m the Maccabees start to rediscover themselves, as the track slowly builds and builds like it’s getting itself on track. The second half of the album is much stronger than the first, holding your attention far better, and it’s here that the albums two strongest tracks lie.

‘River Song’ with its refrain of ‘You’re not getting any younger’ (oh, don’t I know it) is hauntingly beautiful. And the album comes to a close with the gorgeous ‘Dawn Chorus.’ This can be alikened to Syd Barrett discovering brass and Americana, and the only fault I can find with it is that it’s over far too quickly.

Some alright bits, some excellent songs, and some bits you’ll find that you can live without.


Marks To Prove It is out now on Fiction

The return of The Maccabees

The Maccabees 2015 studio photo_credit Pooneh Ghana_web res[8]

The Maccabees are set to return with their anticipated fourth album on July 31, entitled Marks To Prove it.

The Maccabees_Marks To Prove It_album artwork[3]
The tracklisting for the album is as follows:

1. Marks To Prove It
2. Kamakura
3. Ribbon Road
4. Spit It Out
5. Silence
6. River Song
7. Slow Sun
8. Something Like Happiness
9. WW1 Portraits
10. Pioneering Systems
11. Dawn Chorus

You can stream two tracks from the album below ‘Something Like Happiness’ and ‘Marks To Prove It.’

More great music that’s appeared on my radar

…This time, the source wasn’t my inbox, but tips I got from reading the NME website.

First up, this is a free download from Peter Doherty’s forthcoming solo album Grace/Wastelands.


Whatever you think about the ongoing soap opera that seems to surround him, I think this track will surprise you, in a good way.

Peter Doherty -‘New Love Grows On Trees.’ mp3

meanwhile, the Maccabees are a band I know next to nothing about, but I like this…

Maccabees-‘No Kind Words.’ mp3

Oh, and unrelated BUT I will be doing a re-post of the Motorcycle Boy stuff very soon too…