If music be the food of love, then the Maccabees be the romantic’s choice and Wall Of Arms be a veritable feast. Where Colour It In left the listener to fill in the suggestive gaps between each twee little anecdote, their new record paints a glorious Technicolor picture and – not wishing to be misunderstood this time around – flaunts its streams of tallying melodies with a wonderful coming of age confidence.
Those of you expecting to hear this new dark Maccabees sound won’t see much past -No Kind Words’ – a brooding piece of restrained pessimism which builds to a coda of creepy guitar. What really begins to establish itself here is a more thoughtful and deliberate approach to songwriting and, aided by producer Markus Dravs (Neon Bible, Viva La Vida) culminates in songs like -One Hand Holding’ which takes advantage of the band’s tightness and ability to effectively use three guitars in their line-up, all the while sustained with a soaring choral ‘whoooa!’ and -Wall Of Arms’ a rich and variant tune with brass antiphony and marching snare.
-Kiss And Resolve’ provides the real proof of growth as a band, containing all the trademark Maccabees stylings; million mile an hour high hat; jangly lead guitars and sweeping scalic bass lines all with this newfound sense of completion, eclipsed only by the album’s undeniable masterpiece: -Love You Better’. There’s a lot riding on this track as a showpiece for the whole album, but fortunately it personifies the bands naturally charming, sentimental sound: a song that comes up like a wall of friendly arms and gives you one big metaphorical hug.