Now four albums in, I think it’s safe to say that The Maccabees have long since established themselves as a band that have no plans of disappearing any-time soon. On the back of this new collection, that’s little wonder.
Beginning with the title track “Marks To Prove It”, the group kick things off with a superb demonstration of just how much they’ve evolved during their time together and it makes for an energetic little number, with a sharp guitar lick alongside rough vocals. There’s a new energy that comes across with this song, and fans both old and new are likely to love it.
The rest of the album isn’t quite as fresh, but it’s certainly pretty good. The explosive chorus (there is literally no other way to describe it) of “Kamakura” is one you won’t be able to get out of your head easily while “Ribbon Road” works its way towards an incredibly well put together piece of powerful music.
For those who think The Maccabees don’t know how to get angry, “Spit It Out” will certainly silence them. The vocals are eerie, unsettling and sometimes just down-right terrifying, while the scream of “The thought of it brought us all down to our knees!” will echo in listeners’ ears long after they’ve moved on to the next track.
“Silence”, as a result of the band combining an organ and piano, while simultaneously having a vocal which unites them all together, makes for a rather gentle cacophony of sound while the thundering chorus of “River Song” will go down a storm at live shows.
“Slow Sun”, with it’s brass style undertone comes across rather strange not because of how the track is put together but more as a result of the words “that’s real love” being repeated time and time again- they come across almost like a prayer, a daily mantra and perhaps a vocalisation of lust, love and desire all rolled into one. Following on is “Something Like Happiness” which proceeds to switch things up again; there’s a real joy and excitement that comes across throughout the piece and it makes for an immensely satisfying listen.
Next comes “WW1 Portraits” which is good although it lacks that little extra bit of sharp, harsh instrumentation that would have really made it great, while the album suddenly finds itself on a more even, less bumpy emotional footing thanks to “Pioneering Systems” and closing number “Dawn Chorus.” Despite the final song including the lyric “Wake up and make it better”, when it comes to the bands’ next album, fans might yet wonder how they plan to do so.