The Maccabees – Marks to Prove ItCultureMusicAlbum reviews
The Maccabees may be adept at crafting songs that fade into the black hole of the music scene, but when they create something phenomenal they so do with painstaking force. On the whole they’re a hit or miss group, so Marks to Prove It flounces into the world with an aroma of musical suspense. Is it a foundation of tear-inducing glory? Or is it simply another album set to bore the life out of us all?
Title track Marks to Prove It has become ubiquitous: Radio 1 have regurgitated it to a point of sheer fatigue, and praised it with a perplexing fête that it indisputably hasn’t earned. But the album isn’t all forged with an unmemorable personality.
Something Like Happiness spews the emblematic and dreary Maccabees nature, but is performed with an expressive defiance that gives it some virtue. Yes, the momentum remains unchanged, but it’s a judicious track to play in the background as you deal with more significant tasks.
The album’s saving grace however comes in the form of Spit It Out, which fashions a beautifully unnerving life-force and opens the curtain into the group’s collective mind. If one song clutches a beacon of scorching optimism for the album then it’s this one.
Lyrically, Marks to Prove It is controlled with an inquisitive obscurity that only The Maccabees can conjure. It’s just a terrible ignominy that the sound doesn’t match the vibrant words. WW1 Portraits is a prime example, and demonstrates the group’s ability to pen a track with intriguing lyrics. However, the tiresome accompanying music lets it down entirely.
On the whole, the album is a droning construction of a lack of imagination. No barriers were broken in the production and no risks were taken. It would be miraculous to see the band grow with their sound and experiment with their characteristic approach. Perhaps one day they will, but until then we’re stuck with a forgettable collection of second-rate songs.
Marks to Prove It is released on 31st July 2015, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Listen to Something Like Happiness here: