24 July, 2015

[ALBUM REVIEW] The Maccabees - Marks To Prove It

When we first heard new music from The Maccabees it was the title track of the album, and I was very excited for the new album right off the first listen! It was a tough album to conceive, with Orlando confessing that they came close to breaking point, but thanks to Jamie T the band pulled together and produced a cracking album that they can be more than happy about.

Starting with the album's title track "Marks To Prove It" you're thrown into familiar territory with a rush of guitars and epic choruses. The album takes a turn next with "Kamakura", with a dark approach and loose guitars flowing through it, it also has a very atmospheric edge to it, this is a track that wouldn't sound out of place on their last LP. "Ribbon Road" features a driving drum-line and some delicate piano keys, Orlando's vocals here are at the best on the album, with him swooning and singing a lullaby love song in your ears.

Next up is the very quiet and slow "Spit It Out", a track that for the die hard Maccabees fans might not be comfortable with before evolving into a piano lead affair. The next two songs are "Silence" and "River Song". The former is a track I hold in high regard with a change of lead vocals from Orlando to guitarist Hugo, which just shows that the band can now not only rely on Orlando for vocals. The change in singer here is a stroke of genius, the deeper tone of Hugo suits this song a lot more than if Orlando sang it.

"Slow Sun" is yet another example of the band experimenting a little bit, with horns, a lot more piano involved and some soothing female vocals added in for good measure. As I've said before, this track just oozes atmospheric-pop border-lining on ambient-pop. With "Something Like Happiness" following is a change back to The Maccabees' sound that you're all familiar with.

The album leaves you with three stunning parting songs "WW1 Portraits", "Pioneering Systems" and the closing track "Dawn Chorus". "WW1 Portraits" sounds like a romantic song written for the people with a dark side, a slow start the the track moves over to some stunning guitar hooks and riffs, the fact that Orlando is back to his 'shouting' style of singing suggests that the band were after a song to play live here, with a epic ending to the track it will linger with you for a while! "Pioneering Systems" proves to us all that when Orlando said it'll be more stripped back and less guitars he wasn't lying, this is mainly vocals and piano here, and it sounds like something written in the mid-80's by an Americana singer on acid. As the album closes on "Dawn Chorus" you feel like this is a track to reflect the album on, it's a well rounded number that suits the accolade of the album's closer.

"Marks To Prove It" was well worth the band's near break-up the way I see it, it's a lot more stripped back than what I was personally expecting but none-the-less they've made this album without comprise and it's a solid effort from the Brighton band.

The Maccabees - Marks To Prove It
Out of 10: 8.5/10