Last week saw the return of The Maccabees, "Uk's No 1 Indie Band" and I'm sure we are all meant to fall to our knees out of jaw dropping respect for their exciting new direction as they inevitably take the world by storm (Escape) in 2012. TM (Hyperbole department)
But "Given to the Wild" is so incredibly average that the best it could hope for is half hearted thumbs up.
Of Course, The Maccabees are trying something different (different in that they all know how to play their instruments a bit better now, gone for that math rock pop shimmering guitar sound that the Foals went for on their last album and have included something new into the mix e.g. bongos bring Unknow to it's "staggering conclusion...") and Orlando Weeks' voice has improved a million times from the band's first album, the notes he can now hit are one of the un-borecore features of this record. Because otherwise the macca's third album is relatively songless, pleasant but forgettable affair. When they do take it one step up and try and build to something exciting, it takes so long to move away from total mind-numbing boredomland that you've probably turned it off already.
Lead single "Pelican" stands out like the "most beautiful sore thumb I've ever seen" but there's nothing more that will appeal to the fans of the maccabees vital, embracing and engulfing sound of the previous two records, but wall of arms signified a bit planning to experiment... in the shadow of so many other great bands. They have earned the mainstream credibility which makes "Given to the wild" an even more disappointing affair. 5/10