Who said romance was dead? Certainly not The Maccabees. In their world it is alive and well be it in the exuberance of young love or the sentimentality of childhood memories. On their debut â€˜Colour It Inâ€™ they have crafted thirteen songs that swoon at every turn of a ridiculously catchy chorus and soar on endless infectious hooks. It may not be full of endless experimental ingenuity like the other quite brilliant release this week (â€˜Mirroredâ€™ by Battles) but what it does have is pop perfection in its bakerâ€™s dozen of individual gems.
Having already set the bar high with singles â€˜X-Rayâ€™, â€˜Latchmereâ€™ and â€˜First Loveâ€™ Orlando Weeks and co had a lot to live up to with their debut long player and they donâ€™t disappoint. While many of their peers are busy with their â€œlook at us, arenâ€™t we smartâ€ social commentary on modern life The Maccabees are more at home with a more quirky take on Englishness and a certain naivety that draws you into to each song with front man Weeks struggling to find himself as he contemplates his life so far in his now trademark under-pronounced guttural drawl that sometimes disappears to a whisp.
Tenderness is chosen over bravado, never more so than on opener â€˜Good Old Billâ€™ and closer â€˜Toothpaste Kissesâ€™ which both shimmer with understated grace and show that The Maccabees can slow down once in a while and still pull it off. In between â€˜Precious Timeâ€™ is the soundtrack to being scared of finding the love of your life, the aforementioned â€˜Latchmereâ€™ is the best song about a public swimming baths ever written and â€˜Legoâ€™ with the lines â€œand the boys chew lego/so now we cant build castles or robots/cause the pieces wont fit togetherâ€ is a sweeping piece of nostalgia which fizzes with an infantile innocence.
Though at times they could be accused of being a tad repetitive The Maccabees truly havenâ€™t produced a bad song on â€˜Colour It Inâ€™. You could quite easily take ten of the tracks and release them as strong singles from â€™Tissue Shouldersâ€™ to â€˜All In Your Rowsâ€™. It is an album of concise affectionate pop that enthuses you with a sense of wanderlust and optimism with every listen from a band that dare to be thoughtful, not macho.
Weeks sings on â€˜About Your Dressâ€™ â€œI noticed you/You stood out like a sore thumb/The most beautiful sore thumb Iâ€™d ever seenâ€ and encapsulates everything which this album is about.