Album: The Maccabees, Given to the Wild (Fiction)

Simon Price
Sunday 08 January 2012 01:00 GMT

It's a challenge for even the mildest-mannered Class Warrior to remember to review The Maccabees' music, not their names: Orlando, Hugo, Felix, Rupert (and Sam), but our privately schooled heroes' third album is their best yet.

Largely recorded in Rockfield Studios with punk-funk/indie-dance producer Tim Goldsworthy, GTTW confounds expectations of band and producer by abandoning dancefloor-friendly beats altogether. Orlando Weeks's lackadaisical vocals and Hugo White's languid top-string guitar lines combine to create a featherlight sound reminiscent of, in recent terms, The Horrors' Skying and Wild Beasts' Two Dancers, and therefore of 1980s predecessors such as China Crisis and the Blue Nile. There are no standout songs but that's kind of the point: GTTW washes over you like a cooling stream on a hot day.

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