Ah the summer of indie. After the explosion of the new breed of British band with Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand et al hitting the charts came a raft of brilliant British guitar bands, and amongst them were The Maccabees. Specialising in romantic, high-octane tracks, and topped with the amazing voice of Orlando Weeks, they quickly cemented themselves as one of my favourite bands, live and on record. However, after the release of their amazing debut album “Colour It In” they disappeared into the indie aether, leaving me a little downhearted.
But, checking their Myspace this fine evening, I discovered that they’d released a new track for free download, and almost fell out of my chair. I’ll start by saying that “No Kind Words” is a departure from their last album. The first thing to hit me was that Orlando’s usually yelped and frenetic style is not present, instead we’re faced with deep, almost spoken vocals, with backing vox added every so often, sounding distant and ethereal. The instrumentation is worlds away from what we’re used to from the Brighton boys, this song is all about the build up. A kick drum moves to high hats moves to a measured beat, the guitar starts with the occasional strum and moves to a repetitive hook. There’s nothing of the breakneck pace of “X-Ray” or “Latchmere” here, but a band that wants you to listen up and listen in, and let them get to the point in their own time.
Essentially what I’m trying to tell you is it’s all very, very different. But, tempered with that is the fact that it’s bloody brilliant. When the pace ups, when the backing vocals join in with the lead, as the band takes a rest and then bursts into a squealing dual guitar (for want of a better word) solo and as the song ends before you expect it to, it all becomes very much worth the wait. If this is how The Maccabees are going to sound for the new album, I for one am completely behind them.