Rating: 3 / Format: CD/LP / Label: Fiction

I’d previously dismissed the Maccabees as Carling-indie bores – just one more band in the grey mush of skinny jeans, affected accents and (God help us) ‘spiky’ guitars.  Thus, they represented the enemy (and, indeed, the NME). Now, listening to Wall of Arms, I think I was being a little unfair. There’s certainly more to this band than stereotypical indie-sludge. Sounds like they’ve been listening to a lot of Springsteen; the arcing song structures and strangely mournful and sonorous vocals could well be nods back to Born to Run. As reference points go, The Boss is a whole lot less soul destroying than the Libertines. 

But…this is all relative. Many times better than thus usual indie dross Wall of Arms may be, but it’s still utterly unexciting, still wearied and wearying music. The sound of trudging to Topman in the rain. I had to listen to two hours of DJ Scud and Billy Childish to recover; to feel alive again.

Simon Hampson

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