No prizes for guessing which band have been hogging the Maccabees' stereo. Wall of Arms makes use of epic production, eerie chants and the general feeling that Orlando Weeks is singing like the world's about to end tomorrow (which, of course, it may well be). If this all sounds a bit Arcade Fire, note that production credits go to Markus Dravs, who worked on Neon Bible. Thankfully, though, the sound of cynical bandwagon-jumping has been edited out of the mix. In its place are a collection of atmospheric, heartfelt pop songs that frequently fly off at unexpected angles. Seventeen Hands, for instance, begins with tender vocals over tingly guitars and ends in a flurry of screams and drum rolls; better still, it does this while containing enough hooks to fill an entire album. With this record the Maccabees join the Horrors and Jack Peñate as supposedly "landfill indie" acts who've come back fighting with far superior second efforts.
Pop review: The Maccabees, Wall of Arms