Monday, 9 January 2012

The Maccabees - Given to the Wild review

So finally the first major album of the year, the highly anticipated third album from the Maccabees has been released, and having been told to expect a different album from the boys they’ve provided just that.

The build up to the album had the band stating to the NME that the album is “the first time we’ve been allowed to sound like we want” and if this is true, whoever prevented this sound from coming out years ago should be sacked immediately. Given to the Wild is an amazing record.

Those hoping for more of the big stabbing guitars of lead single ‘Pelican’ will be a little disappointed. The lead single is the most energetic song as they’ve mostly thrown out those big sing-a-long choruses and Indie-rock riffs from the previous albums and replaced them with a far more diverse and powerful collection - proving the band have come on leaps and bounds in the intervening two years since Wall of Arms. Easing in with a 2 minute intro which moulds itself unnoticeably into one of my stand out singles, ‘Child’. The record goes from strength to strength as Orlando’s haunting vocals entwine magnificently with the rest of the band. Of course there are still the edges of Indie-Rock, but ‘Given to the Wild’ Is a clear departure from the records of old as The Maccabees shed the ‘landfill Indie’ Tag that was so incorrectly placed upon them.

Stand out singles for me are;

 ‘Slowly One’
Orlando’s vocals hauntingly draw you in before the distorted guitars build into a crescendo fitting for a band that will be leaping their way up the Festival bill this summer.

‘Feel to Follow’
My favourite single on the album, it again builds and builds to a huge climax which will guarantee to have you jumping around when you see them live next but is somehow equally able to be a relaxed and chilled single as you listen to it on your i-Pod.

Another one that builds into a big crescendo, Orlando’s vocals are incredibly soft and along with the simple beat ease you into the record before the 3 minute mark hits and the band explode into pace and rhythm.

‘Given to the Wild’ is the work of a band at the top of their game. They’ve successfully managed to shed the ‘landfill’ insults critics threw at them in the past but have been able to provide enough of the ‘maccabees’ we’ve grown to love to keep their fans happy. It may only be 2 weeks into the 2012 but this will certainly feature on most end of year lists. Yes, at times it feels a little to polished and perfect but the band has matured massively since ‘Wall of Arms’ and we’ll leave you with the fitting lyrics from the final song on the album, “We grew up at midnight, we were only kids then.”

Rating - 9/10

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