The Maccabees Band: Wall Of Arms

The Maccabees in indie Music are the ones to watch in 2010. They are to embark on a sold out NME tour with the likes of The Drums, The Big Pink and The Bombay Bicycle Club, who are also hotly tipped. Wall of Arms,The Maccabees new album and their second album, is one to get. It looks like the band have grown from boys to men in the musical stakes when compared to Colour It In - their first album.

This is an album review, however, of ‘Wall of Arms’ and is an eleven track album released 2009 with Fiction/Polydor Ltd (UK). Released singles from the album includes ‘Love You Better’, ‘No Kind Words’ and ‘Can You Give It’. Videos were released in conjunction with their release to promote the singles.

The Maccabees at Glastonbury Festival 2009

 

I first discovered The Maccabees at Glastonbury Festival 2009 and was impressed with their performance on the ‘other’ stage.  I was a tad disappointed with myself that I hadn’t discovered these lads earlier.  They have already had a release of their debut album Colour It In and have, somehow, slipped passed my ear lobes.  This is unusual for me as I can normally pick up on indie punk bands fairly quickly.  My past predictions for success have been the likes of The Horrors, Elbow, White Lies, Editors and Glasvegas, to name but a few.  I, therefore, will put my neck on the line and predict The Maccabees to be the next big indie UK band of 2010.

Promises of I will Love You Better!

The Maccabees are five young men from Brighton.  The style of music is a mixture of Vampire Weekend meets Maximo Park with a dash of Editors for good measure.  Much of the album has an anthemic feel, with happy-go-lucky tunes.  These are the sorts that could be sung after a good game on the football terraces.  Although ‘laddy’ in places, the vocalist, Orlando Weeks, has an angelic trill to his voice and there is much emotional depth brought forth from it.  I would even go as far as calling this happy desperation, if that is possible.  This is very prevalent in the overall sound of the album. 

 

Lyrically the theme is more about youthful love and the problems associated with relationships.  It is about discovering love, lust and commitment, with a sense of modernistic romanticism.  Promises of I will ‘Love You Better’, learning to love, with symbols of such appreciation as love worded cheap cards left on a pillow for a lover exemplifies this.   The track ‘One Hand Holding’ demonstrates a lover being thrown away before the relationship ends naturally. ‘Why would you kill it…before it dies?’ is asked.  Rejection can be so cruel!   ‘Can You Give It?’ seems to be about working at a relationship – ‘hold fast!’

The Maccabees - Religious Connotations in Name, Athiest by Nature.

English ‘Laddy’ young men can be sensitive. The track ‘Young Lions’ projects the bands atheist views on life and death stating ‘your carbon makes a star…and after all that’s all we are’. Much of the album is infused with atheist themes. However with the band being named after religious connotations, this seems slightly at odds. Weeks stated on BBC Radio 1 Steve Lamaq’s show that none of the band are religious.

'If you've got no kind words to say, then you should say nothing more at all.'

‘No Kind Words’ is my favourite track on the album.  It talks of his friend ‘breaking from his union and tradition…testing his body, tempting disaster.. with another’s daughter’.  I think that the friend does this alone without encouragement, without judgement. The beats and bass appeal to the autistic streak in me.  There is a simplistic dark death march sound followed by an increase in pace.  The words chant ‘if you got no kind words to say… then you should say nothing more at all.’  Week’s voice has a drone and seriousness.  This is emphasised by deep backing vocals, ending with a great guitar riff and…. Stop… then something beautiful.

Indie Punk Rock... The Maccabees

The record has been well produced without interfering too much to the live counterpart. I respect this aspect as so many bands have been over produced, losing the live quality. I think production have got the balance right with Wall of Arms. The beauty and innocence to this album is something I haven’t heard since the early days of Elbow, but with a twist that I love – slow, fast, drone, tight beats, creative bass lines and inventive guitar riffs. If you enjoy dark indie punk, then watch this band make it big and follow the same path as White Lies in 2010.

© This work is covered under Creative Commons License

Buy Wall of Arms on Amazon!

The Maccabee's Colour It In 1st Album
The Maccabee's Colour It In 1st Album

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