To American eyes, The Maccabees could be just another one of those British indie-rock bands that might be big over there, but kind of all sound the same over here – some good-looking young lads playing music better than most good-looking young lads do in the States, but can’t quite make the jump. Yet The Maccabees are more, as is proven on the group’s latest, Marks to Prove It.
Though the opener & title track has some jangly indie-rock energy, the rest of the record traffics more in loss, either fuzzy or quiet. Best is when the band goes big with their loss, such as “Slow Sun” and “WW1 Portraits” (the latter a weightier topic in Great Britain). They can turn down their scope with intimate & echoing pieces like “Silence” and “Pioneering Systems”, and there is some energy outside of “Marks” on the more active fuzz “Spit It Out” and relaxed group anthem and single “Something Like Happiness”.
The Maccabees still might not break through in America, but so what? Elbow (QRO live review) has been doing quite well for themselves, and The Maccabees are nicely following that path.