Released: 16 April 2007
In this new feature I will be sharing the album that has captivated me the most over the last seven days. To show that I have my finger on the pulse of the music industry, I have chosen an album that is almost ten years old as my first pick…
The Maccabees debut album Colour It In will turn ten in April of this year (two days before I turn thirty). At the time it felt like yet another spiky guitar album in the vein of The Futureheads and Bloc Party but listening back to it now, as I have been doing solidly for a month now, it becomes clear that Colour It In has stood the test of time better than most of its peers.
The Brighton band, with help from legendary producer Stephen Street, delivered a debut album that is as thrilling as it is memorable and at a skinny 35 minutes, there isn’t a bad song among the bunch. ‘First Love’ was the track that started it all and it is still one of the best songs of that era but ‘X-Ray’, ‘Lego’ and ‘Latchmere’ are just as good. ‘X-Ray’ in particular is a timeless, frantic mess of a song that almost collapses under its own weight before emerging triumphant at the conclusion.
I saw The Maccabees live somewhere in Sheffield shortly after this record was released and the album does a great job of capturing the bands inescapable live energy. ‘Precious Time’ particularly takes on a life of its own when performed live and adds an extra dimension to an already compelling album.
The Maccbees have recently announced that they will be calling it quits after a short tour in 2017, a crying shame for a band who have remained at the forefront of the British guitar scene across four albums and ten years. Aside from Given to the Wild, I love all of The Maccabees albums but it was Colour It In that started it all and it remains their most consistent and exciting work.
RIP The Maccabees. You will be missed.
Song of the Week: Pinegrove – Size of the Moon
At the end of every December, I trawl the album of the year lists in a desperate bid to try to remain relevant for another year, despite my obvious age and the unstoppable march of time. Despite my long standing hatred for Pitchfork, I downloaded a few albums from their list this year, and whilst that experience was akin to buying 10 boxes of Sugar Puffs to get one decent Batman toy, the good stuff was really good. Which brings us to Pinegrove. I had never heard of the New Jersey sextet until reading about them in Pitchfork but their debut album Cardinal is an assured and rewarding listen.
‘Size of the Moon’ is arguably the jewel in the crown of that album, combining the fragility of Neutral Milk Hotel with the tortured warbling of Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah. The song is a lament on time wasted and potential unfulfilled. There is an element of Frightened Rabbit in there as well and while Pinegrove wear their influences on their sleeve, they have produced a sound that is all of their own. Well worth five minutes of anyone’s time.