Review: The Maccabees – Marks to Prove It

Kettle Mag, The Maccabees, Marks to Prove It
Written by Renate O'Connor

Back with their fourth studio album shooting straight to number 1 in the UK Top 40 Album charts, The Maccabees are undoubtedly on cloud nine right now. Arriving in 2007 with their debut album Colour It In, they settled in nicely to a scene which was so overpopulated by British indie music, some could say it’s an achievement in itself that the band have managed to get this far.

Marks to Prove It follows a quite restrained Given To the Wild in 2012, which itself came after the break-up album of all break up albums – their massively critically accepted 2009 record Wall of Arms.

For major Maccabees fans this album won’t disappoint. Working as a continuation of over-exciting, heavy-hearted songwriting from frontman Orlando Weeks, MTPI has glimmers of the amazing ‘Latchmere’ we all love in the form of ‘Ribbon Road.’ Is it as great though? Probably not… but we’ll take it.

The title track ‘Marks to Prove It’ was always a surefire hit. It’s bound to be amazing live, with its unpredictable exchanges of blazing guitars, cutting keyboard lines from Will White and of course, Sam Doyle’s heart-pounding drums to get you dancing. If gear changes are what you’re after then this is certainly the album for you.

Orlando has that wonderfully British twang to his voice, which just works so well in this genre. Tracks like ‘Dawn Chorus’ and ‘Pioneering Systems’ are so melodic they could probably send you to sleep. That being said, their lullaby abilities are easily overshadowed by the powerful choruses of ‘Kamakura’.

Four albums in and this is definitely the most cohesive of them all. If you listen in order you’ll be told a story; something which is lacking from many of the records you’ll listen to today. That, along with Hugo White bossing the lead vocals on the stunning ‘Silence’ and the perfect summer easy-listening track that is ‘Something Like Happiness’, this is the Maccabees at their best.

Are you a fan of The Maccabees? Let us know in the comments below.