on 30 January 2012
This really is a fantastic album, probably just topping Wall of Arms. It's not an immediate album, but man does it get better with every listen. I've been playing it daily since it was first released and I'm still not bored of it. It really is an album of real depth. Don't listen to the negative reviews, just go out and buy it, I'm already confident this will be one of my top 3 albums of 2012.
on 2 September 2012
A wonderful evolution from Colour It In, their 'sound' has emerged as something vocally mature, emotionally raw and sophisticated.
First time I heard it, one had to pause what she was doing - it's just arresting. There are no wasteful album 'fillers', just simply superior pieces of music. They've put an awful lot into the album, you can hear it, nor do you have to listen particularly hard.
I couldn't pick one track to dismiss. I could pick them all to recommend. And I do.
Some oldies may dislike the band's evolution but let's be blunt, people change. With luck, you've changed too. So you can, too, appreciate their beautiful growth.
I was a good fan, nothing special, now, I'm a smitten fan, desperate to see them live, with the proviso their music develops as creatively as it's doing.
on 29 February 2012
Comment welcome: [...]
Before The Maccabees latest album release, Given to the Wild, I was strongly losing faith in 'indie' music in Britain. Gone are the days of The Libertines, Bloc Party and the first albums of the Arctic Monkeys and Razorlight. Despite a decent album from Kasabian in Velociraptor, I had no idea where the Indie scene was trying to go. Ed Sheeran seemed to enter and dominate the realms of soft indie from his originally promising background, whilst a the other fork in the indie road led to an unnatural and diluted, though occasionally tuneful arena that was enhabited by the likes of Friendly Fires and Two Door Cinema Club. Maybe it was just me? But I discovered far stronger music scenes in house, tech-house and similar genres.
The Maccabees could also have been considered a one album phenomenon, though their first album 'Colour it in' can't quite match the first albums of The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys. Their second album, Wall of Arms, despite a few catchy tunes such as Can You Give It?, really struggled to stand out. It deserved a few sales, but was nowhere near enough to stem the decline I percieved in 'Brit-Pop'.
It is their latest album, 'Given to the Wild', however, that has really clicked with me . The unique sound of The Maccabees is certainly present but this offers so much more. There are really catchy tunes that would never be out of place at a party, yet at the same time it is one of the most chilled and tuneful albums I have ever come across, perfect, for example, in a semi-conscious state on a long bus journey after a heavy night. There is a great rhythm running in all tracks. The lyrics are thoughtful and compliment the music in such a genuine way - something that is so rarely achieved by other bands.
Given to the Wild is definitely an 'album, album'. You are gripped from the short intro at the start to the end. It is rarely intense yet you will not want to press stop, or even pause whilst you are locked in. The lack of francticity takes nothing whatsoever away from the entertainment provided by the album. Tracks like the first single release 'Pelican' do provide a necessary bulge in tempo but are balanced to perfection with melodic tracks like 'Ayla' and 'Glimmer'. The album finishes with some strong and darker sounds in 'Unknow' and 'Slowly One' which match the height of the wildfire triggered in the imagination by the album cover. The gentler 'Grew Up at Midnight' provides a great end to the album and crishendo leaves you feeling as though you've just had a real experience with this album. You are left scrolling up through the tunes to listen back to your favourites in the time you have left as this album is packed with the the kind of tune that would ware down the rewind button. The tracks are different enough to grip you, yet similar enough to tell a great story, a truely sound structure of an album.
I would definitely recommend you listen to ths album, no matter what music you are into. I think it is an amazing album and that coming from someone whose iTunes, these days, is dominated by largely incomparable artists, such as, Durty Goodz, D Double E, Kanye West and Jamie XX.
on 6 March 2012
Given To The Wild, The Maccabees third album, is a triumph. Its host of good songs follow a mellow-but-rock style that is difficult to classify, although comparisons with elements of Coldplay- and U2-esque arena rock are not unwarranted.
The opening trio of Child, Feel To Follow and Ayla are a melodic triple-punch, laying a beautiful and solid foundation for the rest of the album. Unknow is a highlight, anchored by a rhythmic bass and emotive vocals, while Pelican is wonderfully lateral with a gloriously euphoric breakdown.
There's plenty to love about Given To The Wild, an album that is accessible from the off, while retaining some mystery - with many delights to be discovered after repeat listening.
on 18 March 2012
I will admit, at first I was worried I was going to find it boring. Initially there were only two songs I was really interested in (Pelican and Feel to Follow). But after a couple of listens, the album really grows on you, until you can't imagine NOT owning it! It is soulful, sometimes very dreamlike and surreal. It showcases very well Orlando's ethereal vocals, as well as giving us some great harmonies. Though I would, in general, describe it as far more laid back and chill than their other two albums, there are definitely tracks that hearken back to the more energetic and poppy sounds of Wall of Arms and Colour It In. All around a great album and well worth my money!
on 28 July 2012
The Maccabees third outing 'Given To The Wild' is an excellent album, certainly one of the years best. It's a very atmospheric piece and it immediately made me think of Foals (another great band). Like Foals album 'Total Life Forever' it has a drifting, eerie rock vibe with distant guitars and spider like synths, and yet it can be jaunty and groovey with hypnotic basslines and quick paced drumming. Orlando Weeks' vocals are top notch too, some how sounding light and fragile yet powerful at the same time.
The title track and 'Child' start things off in a sombre fashion, drifting along in a darkly beautiful way before kicking in to life in the latter track. The singles 'Feel To Follow' and 'Pelican' are both effortessly catchy and bursting with life. 'Ayla' and 'Went Away' continue this vibe. The former a wonderful, piano led track that keeps its pounding beat, while the latter leaps along on its upbeat guitars and dancey beat. There are a number of darker tracks including the standout 'Unknow' and 'Heave', as well as the brilliant 'Forever I've Known'. There is no filler to be found, its a true album with the same vibe carried on throughout.
Definately one of the years best albums!
on 3 April 2012
I'm not a huge Maccabees fan, their previous albums are decent and they have produced a few good singles in the past. Given To The Wild is something new, not only is their sound more complete but the album is much more solid than its predecessors.
As soon as I heard Pelican I loved it, I thought exactly the same when I heard Love Me Better. That time it prompted me to buy an album that was alright, this time I have bought an album I really rate.
The whole thing flows brilliantly and you cant help but listen to it from start to finish, it doesn't sound right any other way. As an Indie rock fan its another great example of a renaissance in my favourite genre of music. It works on lots of levels, quietly on in the background, loud when you want everyone to hear or when you're in the mood to appreciate a damn good record. Either way it's a must buy.
on 20 January 2014
Wow, what an album. This band is criminally overlooked outside the UK, but that's no excuse to pass them by. Don't listen to any marketing guff that describes them as "indie Coldplay". If you're looking for stadium anthems and catchy melodies, you should stick to the shallow end of the music scene. This is a proper album, the way they used to make them. Not just 2 tracks that sell smartphones and 8 tracks of filler. Every track is brilliantly executed and causes the album to hang together as a whole. After almost 2 years you can still find something fresh here. As for comparisons, it's hard to pick them. Another reviewer mentioned Foals and I have to agree (especially the Holy Fire album). However, there are also shades of Pink Floyd, Elbow, Bloc Party, Wild Beasts, Arctic Monkeys and (yes) Coldplay. What stands out most is the musical talent. They're incredibly inventive and dynamic as a band. At times the production doesn't help - it's almost too clean and makes you wish they hadn't spent 18 months in the studio. The result is an album that you can play loud in the car or lose yourself to in your bedroom. Almost a work of art, but that's pushing it.
on 27 April 2012
Loved the single - Pelican - very catchy (and, incidentally, also a great video!) However, there is nothing remotely like it in sound on the rest of the album. It has the feel of a seventies concept album in some ways but is also cool, sassy and contemporary. I am getting a great buzz out of it even after several listens and there is also a subtlety which rewards repeated listening. Love it!
on 17 April 2012
This is my first encounter with the Macabees, apart from Toothpaste kisses, and I love it.
Every single track is individual, I've been listening to it constantly for weeks and I'm still not tired of it.
Only wish I had managed to catch their live tour, but was just a couple of days late, so missed it.