The Maccabees - Wall of Arms
Posted by Lampard on Fri, 01 May 2009.
Orlando Weeks – Vocals and Guitar
Hugo White - Guitar
Felix White – Backing Vocals and Guitar
Rupert Jarvis – Bass
Sam Doyle – Drums
In ‘Wall Of Arms’ by The Maccabees, the first thing you notice is the undoubted change in style from the previous and debut album ‘Colour It In’. The 5 strong group have strayed from a more softer, tame style to that of a more darker theme.
‘Colour It In’ was a successful debut boasting popular songs like ‘First Love’ and ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ just to name two. In fact, ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ featured in the film ‘Angus Thongs And Perfect Snogging’ and was used by Samsung in a mobile phone advert. So taking this new approach may be seen as a risky route.
In hindsight, it’s worked well. After first hearing their first single release off the new album ‘No Kind Words’, I was surprised at the style, yet loved it. Reaching high in the ‘Myspace Chart’ on MTV Two, it seemed the band were in a situation to achieve. Their second and latest release is ‘Love You Better’. Again, opting for a similar style, has proved popular.
At first glance, the album could be described as too samey or such like, but after listening closely to the tracks individually and comparing them, it becomes apparent that that’s not the case.
The love confused opener ‘Love You Better’ shows the rollercoaster of love and different stages of this are reflected in the track. This then runs in to the more content and happier ‘One Hand Holding’. The regimented marching of ‘Can You Give It’ follows. ‘Young Lions’ starts by hinting essences of their previous tendencies for the first minute, but thereafter the louder, fuller, faster-paced sounds takes control over the reigns. ‘Wall Of Arms’ includes a jazzy lining, taken responsibility by the interrupting trumpets and generally upbeat tone. It’s also the song with the most change in voice tone, with the rest leaning towards lower-tone, dreary sounding vocals, ‘Wall Of Arms’ is a welcome break in pattern using bouncy lines. First release ‘No Kind Words’ brings proceeding back to a level of gloom, followed by ‘Dinosaurs’ which reunites you with a similar style with that of ‘Wall Of Arms’. Fast paced ‘Kiss And Resolve’ introduces similarly styled ‘William Powers’. Quickly strummed ‘Seventeen Hands’ brings up the rear of the album, ‘Bag Of Bones’. The final song brings a selection of mellow, ambient sounds, mixed with only a small amount of higher sung verses rounding off a well presented album.
Overall, ‘Wall Of Arms’ is proof of The Maccabees’ maturity of the group. The 11-track album demonstrates the time spent on producing not just a collection of individually good songs thrown together in one, but a carefully thought and practised story of songs.