The Maccabees are finally back with their new album Marks To Prove It after an absence of three years since their successful and well-loved third studio release Given To The Wild. In those three years, fans have wholeheartedly yearned for new material and the band have been busy at work in their studio in Elephant and Castle. It has been noted by the band that the writing and recording process has proven challenging and complex for them. However, upon listening, it seems that the album has been well worth the wait, and is a continuation of the band’s move towards a more mature sound which began in their last record. With a length of 11 songs spanning over 41 minutes, the body of the album is composed of lofty, ambient melodies paired with catchy guitar hooks and airy vocals that complete their sound.
The album kicks off with a gritty punch to the face with the first single and title track ‘Marks To Prove It’, a release of the pent up frustration the band were said to have while recording the album. From here, it flows smoothly towards a calmer tone, more akin to that which they crafted and refined on their previous album.
Their signature sound is a staple throughout the record, but more so in the first half with songs such as the dreamy ‘Kamakura’, with eerie vocals that are unsurprisingly soothing. This is reinforced through the emotive ‘Silence’, which features a beautiful piano piece throughout its length that lends a dramatic feel to it. Songs further along such as ‘River Song’ and ‘Slow Sun’ are evidence of the band trying to incorporate a slightly newer sound whilst sticking to their roots, both featuring brass instruments and blues and jazz influences. ‘Slow Sun’ really emphasises the emotive nature of the album, through connecting simple gestures with deep emotions mentioned in the lyrics – “A cup of tea for you” and “real love”.
As a whole, the album has a beautifully cinematic feeling to it which fans of Given To The Wild will find pleasantly familiar, while a small bit of experimentation here and there keeps things interesting and ‘fresh’. It is a strong and coherent album that carefully weaves the tracks together from start to finish to form a beautiful tapestry with a solid structure. The Maccabees’ journey through adulthood has led them to reinventing themselves and developing their sound into something that many would have never thought possible. But, with Marks To Prove It, they continue to prove that they’re a lot more than just ‘another London based-indie band’.
Marks To Prove It is now available via Fiction records.