“The wait is over!” – to quote The Maccabees’ “Ayla.” The Maccabees are, at long last, beginning to emerge from their three-year hibernation since the release their dextrous, award-winning third album Given To The Wild. Fresh new single “Marks To Prove It” is quite literally the definitive mark to prove that these boys are back, and with a reminiscent guitar reliance that surrounded their first two albums.
An enigmatic blast of feedback introduces “Marks To Prove It,” which initially made me wonder whether The Maccabees have developed an even more experimental approach to album four since Given To The Wild, yet the underlying continuous bass line and abrupt flashes of guitar assure me that that is not quite the case. Only thirty seconds in, a wall of noise is created from layers and layers of guitars both twanging and swooning in a rather psychedelic manner.
The vivacious riff mimics frontman Orlando Weeks’ playful melody, in which his soothing, idiosyncratic voice flutters, “No one was lonely / they just could not get hold of anybody.” Weeks is, undoubtedly, a fine lyricist, proven in very early tracks such as “Latchmere” in which he iconically sings, “Madam’s and Monsieur’s please return to your cubicles / Latchmere’s got a wave machine,” and the lyrics that bounce blithely through “Marks To Prove It” are, reassuringly, of no disappointment. The echoey noise surrounding the chorus is somewhat reminiscent of Arcade Fire, much like their second album, with a psychedelic twist that could be recognised in bands such as Tame Impala. There is no reason why any Maccabees fan would be disheartened with “Marks To Prove It” as it’s evident that each musical era of The Maccabees’ career can be identified within it, and they’re sounding more confident than ever.
Unfortunately, no official release date has been announced for the yet untitled and highly anticipated album four but, according to the band, the last two songs were mixed in January. Hopefully, this infinite wait will soon be over. Hefty festival announcements such as Reading & Leeds festival and Glastonbury have been confirmed for the five-piece as well as their upcoming handful of intimate shows in Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and London this May. I have no doubt that they’ll not only be bashing out old classics such as “First Love,” “Precious Time” and “Love You Better,” but an assortment of new and perhaps still yet unheard material. It’s no secret that The Maccabees put on a hell of a live performance, so you’d be a fool not to catch them while you can.