“Latchmere’s got a Wave Machine”.
Not only a statement of fact, but possibly the most brilliantly inane lyric of the summer and most definitely the only lyric in honour of the same South London sports centre where members of the Chimpomatic staff regularly re-write the 5-aside football rule book.
A song about a sports centre. And quite openly too: “Speedos speed by. Remember to stay in your lanes. No Heavy Petting.” just a sample of singer Orlando Weeks’ poetry on track 4 (Latchmere) from Colour It In, the debut album from this Clapham 5 piece (now relocated to Brighton).
The Maccabees cast a pretty narrow net lyrically; focusing on that period of late teens/early 20s (unsurprising considering they weigh in at an average age of 21) which with hindsight are glorious and carefree, but at the time can be overcast with trivial doubts and worries. Colour It In captures the energy, exuberance and innocence of this time, but is not a naïve album.
Whilst the hefty chip on my shoulder makes me naturally cautious of a band made up of an Orlando, Felix, Hugo, Rupert and a Robert Dylan Thomas, I’m a sucker for a dose of that post-Strokes, tight guitared-pop and Colour It In’s sheer enthusiasm chipped away at my cynicism after a couple of listens. They pad tracks 3 through 7 with the stronger single-ish songs All In Your Rows, Latchmere, About Your Dress (see a video clip here) and Precious Time - all of which got my feet tapping, so god knows how the less world-weary kids are keeping still, whilst the supporting songs hold their own and keep up the vibe.
The Maccabees may well go down the Razorlight route of wankerworm or they might dissapear without trace, but there is no denying that Colour It In is a confident and enjoyable debut, that will most likely be unavoidable this summer. It may not last the test of time, but like any good summer romance it’s the excitement of the now that matters. If you are too old to get to a wave machine for your summer kicks; a few beers, a spot of sun and Colour It In might just do the trick.