Monday, June 1

Album Of Last Month

The Maccabees 'Wall Of Arms' (Fiction)

Markus Dravs. Hmm. Markus Dravs worked with Arcade Fire. Markus Dravs worked with Coldplay. Markus Dravs worked with Wave Machines. Marcus Dravs is working with Mumford & Sons. Just who is this Markus Dravs and why is he escorting the latest productions from my dearest of bands? Well, whatever wondrous voodoo he's brandished on 'Neon', 'Viva', and 'Wave', 'Wall Of Arms' seems to be blessed with it too. You've still the squally guitars and Orlando warbling like he's about to cry (in a good way), but this sophomore endeavour also puffs a whole lot more than (albeit rather absorbing) tales of a Clapham swimming pool. Now they're slicker, there're pensive touches on the deceased, and it picks itself up and drops itself down just when it feels right. Whereas 'Colour...' felt in some ways like a band in discovery, throwing together all they had, this is an album. An album that really, in a time of never-ending electro posses vying with each other for some clunky sampler on eBay, completely stands on its own. The equally resplendent 'Love You Better' and 'No Kind Words' aside, 'Can You Give It' has an as-one roar to knock the stuffing outta Bunk Moreland. 'William Powers' mounts on a Herculean strain of munching strings just yearning for a run of sell-out stints at Brixton Academy. And 'Bag Of Bones' is 'Toothpaste Kisses' mark two, only even more divine. Yes, they've grown up. Yes, they've matured. And yes, this'll be one of the year's finest.