After 14 years together, The Maccabees have announced that their life as a band is sadly over. Coming off the back of a headline performance at this year’s Latitude Festival, it could be argued that they were at the height of their powers. Yet, this is one of the reasons why they decided to split. In a message to their fans, they stated “We are very proud to be able to go out on our own terms, at our creative peak”. So rather than mourn over their split, we are going to look back at the band’s four records and celebrate the music that they gave us.
It’s the 16th of April 2007, and The Maccabees have just released their debut record Colour It In on iTunes. Tony Blair is still the Prime Minister, the new Wembley Stadium has only just opened and Arctic Monkeys are set to headline Glastonbury for the first time. Amongst all this, little did we know that this record was the beginning of something truly special. Following then recent popular indie albums such as Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and Silent Alarm, Colour It In cemented itself in the mid-noughties indie psyche. Tracks like X-Ray, Precious Time and Latchmere became the anthems of the Skins generation, whilst Toothpaste Kisses captured the hearts of young couples who thought their love would last forever. It’s a record that encapsulates a time that seems so distant and far away now, however it will forever mean a lot to those who were around to experience it first hand.
Two years later, The Maccabees followed up their debut with Wall Of Arms. A record that steered the band’s sound into what it ended on. Their overall sound had matured, with vaster instrumentation and darker themes. This is where they proved that they weren’t just your run of the mill indie band who made one good record and jacked it in. Wall Of Arms was a statement of intent. The Maccabees were here to stay.
2012 was the year that The Maccabees released their magnum opus. Given To The Wild was the moment when they became one of the Britain’s best millennial bands. This was their Disintegration or their The Dark Side Of The Moon, this is what The Maccabees existed for. Every track they had recorded and every gig they had played led up to this moment. The album went on to be nominated for the Mercury Prize Award, and rightly so. It’s impossible to sum up the album in just a few words, so we won’t even try to. So instead, if you haven’t already, just give it a listen.
Marks To Prove It, the album that bookends their whole career. An album that, in lieu of what has happened, makes total sense. It’s a honouring of everything they did. It borrows elements from Colour It In, Wall Of Arms and Given To The Wild to create a celebration of what The Maccabees achieved, became and ended as. It was as if The Maccabees knew all along that this would be their last record.
So whilst it may be sad that you’ll never be able to say “Oh, have you heard that new track by The Maccabees?” again, or get excited when they get announced for a festival, at least they have left us with four amazing albums. The Maccabees were a special band, and one we’ll never forget.