Wednesday, February 1

Album Of Last Month

The Maccabees 'Given to the Wild' (Fiction)

Some bands just aren't as big as they should be. Two remarkably astute albums in and The Maccabees are still battling for 'big 'n' great' status, least among those outside their cult fanbase. It's not like the songs haven't always been there, too. Heck, 'Latchmere' and its wave machine is still more a choon than anything off 'Born This Way'. And 'Given to the Wild' - by way of sugared, spacious soundscapes, now-customary tingly guitar-picking and singer Orlando Weeks realising his inspiriting Patty Mayonnaise-indie howl more than ever - is yet further proof these are waaaaay beyond most. 'Child' subsumes into some 'Game of Thrones'-climbs-Everest saga, as Orlando squeals the album's title atop silvery trumpets, while 'Ayla' keeps the pep juices flowing by futzing with piano, of all things. Love story 'Heave' turns the Eno-like, syrupy aerospace back on, only to sling itself head-first in with rapid, plucky guitars, as make-you-want-to-cry cries of "Are we so different?" strike above. It'll have you standing up in applause like you've just seen Katy Perry and Russell Brand fool all into thinking they were married. Closer 'Grew up at Midnight', though, is about the most stunningly beautiful and majestic few minutes the band have ever tailored, and the only way this album could have ended. Right now, The Maccabees just aren't as big as they should be. But more fool the world if this doesn't change that.

Best Track
'Grew up at Midnight'