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The Maccabees - Given To The Wild

The Maccabees - Given To The Wild

by , 11 January 2012

I like it when a band doesn't just sit back and rest on their laurels, releasing the same album again and again. Whether throwing up three albums that you can tell are the same band, but are completely different in sound (ala Bloc Party) or whether it is a natural progression of a band maturing, the latter is the stage at which we find The Maccabees today.

Listening back to Colour It In you can tell that is the album that was fun to make. Whether singing about the, now famous, Latchmere swimming baths, or complaining about chewed pieces of Lego making it tricky to build a castle, the band were playing about with their sound. Maybe they didn't think they'd ever make it. Maybe this was just them having fun with friends. But they did make it. The album was a moderate success. Certainly enough of a success to warrant a second album.

Suddenly making music wasn't just a pastime. This was their career. The perfect Wall of Arms was the album that set them on their way as a proper band. Intelligent lyrics. Soft instruments. And of course Orlando Weeks' instantly recognisable voice.

This is of course all guess work. However it came about though, we are now enjoying Given To The Wild. And enjoying it we certainly are. Another step forward and one that throws you around from light to dark, from high to low. 'Unknow' is like nothing they have released before, while 'Ayla' wouldn't feel out of place on either of their earlier records. Every track is very Maccabees, but also very different. On 'Went Away' they even bring in vocals from elsewhere in the band. One of the White brothers I think.

What this album has done is to raise expectations in the band everywhere. Even if we do a disservice to Colour it in and put it down as just a fun debut, The Maccabees have still released three excellent albums. That's not a one-off fluke anymore. That's a band with real talent.

Rating: 8.5/10

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