Maxïmo Park Will Have Their Vengeance
Maxïmo Park’s first album, A Certain Trigger, is one of the best rock albums of the naughties, full stop. And I don’t mean ‘one of the best’ as in, say, the grey consolation prize area of the tail-end of the top 50. I mean top 10, just behind category killers like the White Stripes and My Morning Jacket. (The whole album is great, but the above two are probably the best tracks)
Well, this has been and remains my opinion at least, though I seem to be standing more or less obstinately alone on this. My plan then is to wait another 10 years as history vindicates me and all the rest of you have to lash yourselves in shame for missing the boat (or, if I know people, pretend like you were right there with me the whole time, you craven opportunistic hipster SOBs).
It’s unfortunate that their two follow-ups have each been flawed in their own way. 2007’s Our Earthly Pleasures has the absolutely divine Girls Who Play Guitars, but the rest lacks the real memorability or punch of the debut. I blame part of this on the production, which seems to have been a victim of the loudness wars, which emaciates the dynamics of the record and makes it fatiguing to listen to. Their new album, Quicken The Heart, released just this week, has more dynamics (though still not as great a sound as the first), but suffers from lackluster material and execution at times. Luckily we live in an era of singles, because it too has a few gems, such as Wraithlike and Calm.
Their trademark style is high energy dance rock, which makes them a great live act (and who needs three full albums of great music when there’s only time to play the hits and favorites on stage anyway?) I saw them play at my first FRF in 2005. You will probably see me at this fest doing the exact same Pete Townsend windmill air guitar to the intro to Graffiti I did then. I can’t help it. It’s a compulsion. Just don’t try to be all cool by copying me, you insincere bandwagon whore. Unless you really mean it.