The Maccabees ‘Given To The Wild’ Review

The Maccabees return with their third album, their previous albums were perfection in indie with dark pop elements, but the third album sees the band mature and grow with confidence to an album that might be their defining sound and is certainly their masterpiece. The album itself is concise and consistent with each song blending beautifully into the next, there isn’t necessarily a standout song but it is an album which should be listened to as an album. The album also creates a rich and beautiful soundscape which conjures up imagery of landscapes and the wild, this makes the album title aptly named. Orlando Weeks voice is a beautiful falsetto which washes and blends effortlessly with the instrumentation. Whilst the album is as gentle as a summer stream, it does provide some upbeat moments such as the songs ‘Unknown’ and ‘Pelican’. Whilst The Maccabees previous albums were ‘perfection’ they now certainly feel like they were stepping stones to ‘Given To The Wild’, an album which shows maturity and a band brimming with confidence. A real gem.

Out Now!

Essential Tracks: Really must be listened to as an album

First Listen: Howler ‘America Give Up’ Review

Howler received a lot of attention and hype towards the end of last year and it is no surprise in a music industry littered with electronic outfits (this is not necessarily a bad thing), these five lads from Minneapolis daringly step out with fuzzy guitars which draws strong comparisons to The Strokes. Next week on the 16th the young band releases their debut album and here at NorthernRoom we are lucky enough to have heard it before its release. The boys release a strong album full of guitar hooks and noise which is very reminiscent of The Strokes. Each song is strong enough to stand alone, but place in a context of an album and it starts to feel like an 11 track compilation. The album isn’t original as well; it is like Julian Casablancas fronting The Vaccines or scraps from The Strokes debut, this could be down to the young age of the band and with time they might find their own sound (much like The Maccabees). The originality aspect isn’t a major hurdle that can’t be jumped because the songs are very catchy, and perhaps isn’t something the band themselves care about: “I keep hearing a lot of witch house stuff, chillwave, shoegazey keyboards with Casio drums. But not rock, so we wanted to make it dirty rock’n’roll” (Jordan Gatesmith); this is an album that does just that each song is punchy and mostly comes in under the 3 minute mark. This is a fine debut from a young band, but you just can’t help feeling slightly cheated by it.

The album is available for streaming at nme.com

Released: 16/01/2012

Essential Tracks: Told You Once, Beach Sluts & America

2012 Hotly Anticipated Releases

2011 was quietly a good year for music with two releases from Kate Bush and Alex Turner but what of 2012? Here at NorthenRoom we thought we would list a few albums that we can’t wait for.

The Maccabees// Given To The Wild// 9th January

Here at NorthenRoom we can’t understand how these London lads are not bigger, their previous releases were perfection; both were incredibly catchy and effortlessly cool. With their third album close to release maybe 2012 will be The Maccabees year.

Sigur Rós// TBA// TBA

Having been on hiatus since 2010, rumours have been flying round of a 2012 album and tour ever since their Q&A at the Inni premiere. Allegedly the album is planned for a spring release and the sound will be “floaty and minimal”. Perhaps we will see the band returning to a sound similar to their earlier albums.

The Shins// Port of Morrow// March

The fourth release from the indie pop legends will have some high expectations to reach but The Shins are easily capable of reaching them.

Cursive// I Am Gemini// 21st February

A concept album about twins, one is good the other is evil. Can’t say we at NorthernRoom are fans of concept albums and this in particular doesn’t sound too appetising. However, it is the excellent Cursive and the song ‘The Sun and Moon’ is bloody awesome.

Errors// Have Some Faith In Magic// 31st January

The band burst at the seams with colour and electro compositions creating one of the best danceable acts out there. Their song Earthscore, off their future album, shows the band could be bounded for greatness.

This Month’s Playlist Update!

You can now see the December playlist at the top of this page under ‘This Month’s Playlist’. It features some cracking songs from Lana Del Ray, Jamie xx and this excellent track by The Maccabees