Customer Reviews


16 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Growing pains.
Whether its maturity of even a sign of the times, the Maccabees are in a bit of a mood. But then everyone's in a mood, which is exactly why Wall Of Arms was never going to be Colour It In mark II. The band has experienced internal strife and you only need to pay vague attention to the album's lyrical content to know that things haven't been plain sailing in other aspects...
Published on 28 April 2009 by Mr. Gideon D. Brody

versus
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but dissapointing
As a massive Maccabees fan up to this point, I have to say i was a touch underwhelmed but this album. There are some very good songs on it, particularly Love You Better. There is however an overall lack of diversity. There's a very clear thread running through all the songs, but each one doesn't quite stand on it's own.

If you think of what makes colour it in...
Published on 11 May 2009 by D. Anderson


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Growing pains., 28 April 2009
By 
Mr. Gideon D. Brody "twitter me: gideon_" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wall of Arms (Audio CD)
Whether its maturity of even a sign of the times, the Maccabees are in a bit of a mood. But then everyone's in a mood, which is exactly why Wall Of Arms was never going to be Colour It In mark II. The band has experienced internal strife and you only need to pay vague attention to the album's lyrical content to know that things haven't been plain sailing in other aspects of life either. In other words, they're growing up and times are hard. Times are hard for human beings everywhere, of course, but they are especially hard for an indie-rock band tentatively offering its tough second album to an industry that can't decide whether it's dying, resurrecting or being born anew. While the Maccabees aren't showing any signs of decay, their new release is reflective of a band unsure whether it should stick or twist. Growing pains have never been so painful.

Wall Of Arms can be likened to Colour It In's older, more world-weary brother. Although the adrenaline buzz and doe-eyed romanticism of the first album hasn't been totally discarded, it certainly has been tamed. No longer fresh-faced, the band are to be found ruminating on what the hell just happened, leaving Wall of Arms feeling like some kind of Colour It In aftermath. While the Maccabees aren't depressed or out of love, neither are they looking forward. They have clearly spent a lot of time thinking, walking fine lines between emotional extremes. For the listener, the corrolory is an album profuse with tension and feelings of insecurity. The album's superb opener, Love You Better is representative of the album. Built on a lover's vow, the song takes you into the heart of a faltering relationship and the complexities that lie within it - quite a leap from two-minute ditties about toothpaste-flavoured kisses.

Musically, Wall of Arms is far less consistent than Colour It In. The album's emotional vicissitudes create an uneven terrain, taking you through darker, more complex places before you are met by songs truer to the Maccabee convention. The album's slower pace moves the Maccabees much closer to Razorlight. The excellent indie-disco of One Hand Holding and the riff-heavy semi-anthem Can You Give It? could have appeared on Up All Night without a great deal of fuss. But that is only half of the story. Wall Of Arms seems to want to move into commercial territory as much as it is recoiled by it. One moment you're dancing around and enjoying its punk-pop predictability and the next you're sitting down wondering what the hell just grabbed you and prodded at your chest.

There is no better illustration of the album's Janus-like ego than the transition from its high point to perhaps its weakest juncture. It's a shame that the brooding, grinding intensity of No Kind Words should be met by the more upbeat and easily more forgettable Dinosaurs, the one track that shouldn't have made in onto this record. The chasm that the album's zenith creates between what is effectively its first and second halves is something that Wall Of Arms struggles to cope with. It isn't until you're met with William Power's intriguing bridge section and its delicate refrain: "And I'll see you when you're older / when we're older" that the album again hits another peak. Not only does Wall Of Arms waver between moods idiosyncratically, it wavers in quality quite markedly too.

When the album does lull, it is never with a sulk. The initially melancholic Young Lions explodes into a frenzy of hi-hats and elastic baselines, while the album's title track sounds oddly similar to the eccentric brass-laden path the Arctic Monkeys took with their second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare. Its confessions of non-existent faith represent the album's lyrical peak: "And through these eyes / there's no god above me / no purgatory / no pearly gates / the worms are what await me / it's only me that can forgive me." The otherworldly Bag Of Bones wouldn't sound out of place on an Elbow or Shins record and, at nearly five minutes long, feels like quite a welcome departure from the second half's jarring intensity.

If Colour It In exposed the extrovert side of the Maccabees, Wall Of Arms sheds a little light on the darker introspections of the Brighton quintet. Some will bemoan the album's moodiness, others will embrace its greater depth. In uncertain times, the Maccabees have made a brave attempt at ensuring their own future.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent album, 31 Dec 2009
By 
J. Dows "Jimmy boy" (Louth, Lincs UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wall of Arms (Audio CD)
Caught this band on TV at Reading earlier this year and bought the album on the strength of seeing them play one number "love you better" - so pleased I bought this, the album is absolutely brilliant with not a weak track or filler on it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capturing sounds, 19 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wall of Arms (Audio CD)
'Love You Better' was the track that first brought my attention to The Maccabees and is coincidentally, the opening track. The tracks that followed still kept me listening though. Orlando's ability to capture you with his somewhat emotional vocals prove to work well throughout and the diversity embedded within the more mellowed down tracks of No Kind Words and Bag of Bones, demonstrate the range of ability within this album. To me, this album does NOT fall into the one track album category, as more of their capability is shown throughout. It's a recommended buy for sure!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real grower, 11 Feb 2010
This review is from: Wall of Arms (Audio CD)
Was unsure at first but this album gets better with every listen - some really crisp '80's' guitar rifts that enhance every song. Vocals are quite monotone and understated that people will either love or hate but I recommend playing a few times before making a judgment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 4 Jan 2010
By 
E. Evans (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wall of Arms (Audio CD)
The Maccabees have got to be one of the most underrated bands of all time, literally. I bought both of their albums after having seen them at a festival over the summer, and for the prices of both of their albums i thought why not? It was the biggest bargain ever! I'm so glad I bought the albums! There's something for everyone on each album, the songs vary and none of them sounds 'samey' like some bands, there's so much variety from song to song, from jittery up-tempo beats to slower, softer ones.

If you're into indie music this is certainly for you, and even if you're not, give it a try because they are truly fantastic!

This particular album for me is the best of the two, it's more matured and defined, but both are amazing and definitely worth having in your music collection! Watch this space, they're the next big thing!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Same Maccabees Magic! :), 19 Nov 2009
This review is from: Wall of Arms (Audio CD)
If you loved the first album you'll love this one... took a few listens to fall in love with this, just the same as colour it in but thoroughly recomend as this hasnt been out of my cd player in quite a while! The title track (No. 5) is defo worth a listen to see if you'll enjoy the album before buying!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a grower., 8 Jun 2009
By 
H. Rogers - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wall of Arms (Audio CD)
I was so excited for this album to be released, as 'Colour it in' was such a brilliant album. The first couple of times i listened to this album all the way through, i wasn't that taken with it...

Usually if something doesn't grab me straight away i don't tend to really bother with it again, but being such a big fan of The Maccabees i gave it another chance...best decision i've made in a long time.
All of the tracks are equally amazing. They all flow so well into each other, and it's actually really difficult to pick out the best track.
The whole album sounds so much more grown up than 'colour it in', but still has that element of fun and that distinct maccabees sound. One of the best albums of the year so far!

So for anyone who wasn't that taken by this album after a couple of listens; persevere !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return, 4 May 2009
By 
G. L. Williams "simplygregguk" (South West England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wall of Arms (Audio CD)
The second album for a band with a lot of ideas. At first listen you'd be forgiven for thinking they had lost their touch with a catchy song. However, this album gives a lot more than the debut album did. It offers the listener a chance to delve into the mind of the band and they have created an album that verges of greatness in parts.

Songs such as ;No Kind Words, Lover You Better, Bag of Bones, One Hand Holding and Young Lions are terriffic and are worthy of a download alone.

Get this album!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE CRACKERBEES, 13 May 2010
By 
Bryan R. Morris (HEREFORD) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wall of Arms (Audio CD)
Having recently bought and enjoyed the first album,"Colour It In",I looked forward to hearing "Wall Of Arms" to see if the band could follow up on an impressive debut album.

With a hint of Arcade Fire,The Maccabees main strengths are clever lyrics and catchy melodies that seem like old favourites without sounding unoriginal.Wall Of Arms sees the band add trumpets,trombones and flugelhorn for a powerful soundtrack.

Love You Better,Can You Give It and Wall Of Arms are probably the stand-out tracks although I can't think of a weak track.A collaberation with Roots Manuva,Empty Vessels,shows that the band are no one-trick ponies.Even a cover of I Drove All Night sounds like a song that belongs on the album.

Whether you own the first album or not I would recommend adding Wall Of Arms to your CD collection.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sturdy, brick-like follow-up, 5 May 2009
By 
Mr. J. Milton "jambo234" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wall of Arms (Audio CD)
Wall of Arms' could be a crafty little metaphor to describe the grand, teenage crowds that turn out every night to one of The Maccabees' shows. Be this premonition true or not, the band are riding on a wave of youthful energy, completely buzzing. So it seems like an inappropriate time to stop, even if indie music as a genre is on its last legs. And anyway, The Maccabees were always a little bit more than a pigeonholed indie band from Brighton/London. Ultimately, now is not the time to grow up, to release that career-defining album. Orlando Weeks may have been worshipping The National and calming down a little with baths and scented candles, but he's still fully aware that there's still some momentum to use up.

The signature high-pitched riffs, pumped up energy as well as Weeks' intelligent lyrics all remain, carried over from `Colour It In' and recycled into `Wall Of Arms', an album with better production and a whole lot more awareness of its intentions. The success of `Toothpaste Kisses' seems to have led The Maccabees onto a winning formula of sounding ever so slightly sweet and heartfelt, more so with each song they write. But quite cleverly, they manage to switch between song structures, reciprocating a twee love song into a full-blown, shout-out-loud anthem in a matter of seconds (see `Seventeen Hands' as a prime example).

It may go completely unnoticed but deep down, `Wall Of Arms' comes across as one of the most carefully crafted albums to be released for some time. For its genre in particular, think `Favourite Worst Nightmare' with its refined but anthemic approach to songwriting and recording. The capabilities of this sophomore album are as never-ending as its counterparts, with the likes of the subdued but raucous `No Kind Words' and the mind-blowing `One Hand Holding' possessed with such infectiousness that each could become a festival favourite, a cult classic, a life-affirming 21st century classic. I'm not even joking, if enough people catch onto this, it could blow a hole in the wall.

Over time, `Wall of Arms' exposes itself as more than just a careful blend of soft-cheeked romantic devotions with obnoxious arm-in-air chants. The consciously new lyrical approach from Weeks, incorporating the repetition and honesty of Matt Berninger's own style, makes for the most free-thinking record of their short career so far. But you sense more. Onwards and upwards they'll go, tainted but boosted by more experience and even more ambition.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Wall of Arms
Wall of Arms by The Maccabees (Audio CD - 2009)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews