With names like Felix, Orlando, Rupert and Hugo, the Maccabees had no choice but to plump for the artier end of the guitar-rock spectrum. Luckily, it suits them. There's snap and crackle in their off-beat melodies, and real heat in Orlando Weeks' staccato vocal lines. Being part of the groovy London milieu that yielded Lily Allen seems to have left no obvious marks - if anything, they're more indebted to jittery northerners like Maxïmo Park and Futureheads. The Maccabees find pleasure in small things: jumpy little Latchmere celebrates their local leisure centre, Lego is a sweet memory of days out with mum and dad ("Look left, look right, cross the road and hold my hand"), albeit one wrapped up in gutsy power-pop. Then there's Toothpaste Kisses, which elegantly closes the album with a lounge-lizardish hymn to good teeth. Joyous and full of beans, Colour It In proves that even Ruperts can rock.
CD: The Maccabees, Colour It In
Caroline Sullivan writes about rock and pop for the Guardian