Having made a critical and commercial breakthrough with 2012’s third album Given To The Wild, The Maccabees announced the following year that number four should be out in early 2014.
Eighteen months on, we finally have the follow-up and the good news is that it bears none of the hallmarks of being a long time in the making. Opening singles Marks To Prove It and Something Like Happiness have set a high water mark – the first a driven, urgent slice of guitar rock and the second a big, emotional, Elbow-like ballad – that the album on the whole lives up to.
The powerful Spit It Out and Beatles-like Slow Sun are other highlights, while others display a much lighter touch in the shape of Ribbon Road, Silence and the gorgeously gentle Pioneering Systems.
They save the best for last, though. Dawn Chorus, delicate and powerful at the same time, is melodic, atmospheric and ends the album on the high it deserves.
Like this? Try these: Elbow, Build A Rocket, Boys; Kaiser Chiefs, Education, Education, Education and War
By Andrew Greenhalgh