51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Pull my trigger, 22 May 2005
There are few bands that can take my heart upon first listen. The Libertines tried and failed for many months to garner my attention, only getting it over the bleak summer months with little else to do. Hell, even The Futureheads, the catchiest pop-punk quartet to come out of 2004 didn't manage to capture my full attention with 'A to B'. So what's so different about Maximo Park?
The main point that many will argue is that, simply, there isn't enough different about them to get them noticed. With this new invasion of suit wearing, guitar wielding bands, it's hard to go against that part. With The Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand and many others grabbing the covers of the NME and getting numerous column inches in tabloids, it's easy to see why many simply dismiss this Newcastle quintet as simply part of the rabble.
The people who are willing to look past the 'me too' exterior are likely to be rewarded with deep, revealing lyrics, catchy riffs and songs that simply won't leave you alone. From the quiet opening of Signal and Sign, the album simply grows and grows. Somehow, Maximo Park have managed to capture all that's good about indie music today and encapsulate it all into one album, adding lyrics much deeper than even the most lovelorn teenager in a suit could hope to pen.
From the albums opening words, you can tell that the band's singer, Paul Smith, is a man with charisma. His singing voice has more personality than nearly every other singer on the scene at the moment. Rather than covering up his Geordie accent with an American twang or inaudible mumblings, Smith seems to flaunt it, and many of the songs are much better for it - indeed, many of the lyrics were written by the man himself, and it's difficult to imagine anyone but him singing them with such a passion.
Much of the album's personality comes from the unique combination of Smith's voice, the catchy riffs and hooks and the surprisingly well worked keyboarding. Although it may not be as fashionable as playing guitar, or as cool as strumming bass, keyboard is the album's main reason for feeling so Epic despite being of a rather short length. It may have cost them a few gigs and a few pages in the NME, but the keyboard has definitely paid off.
The most difficult part of reviewing 'A certain trigger' is picking out a stand-out track. Every song on the album could be called a classic, none showing any signs of weakness, even against the tests of time. However, the one that is probably most rewarding long term is 'The coast is always changing'. 6 months after first hearing this little gem for the first time, it's still going strong.
The weak point of the album is probably 'Acrobat'. Despite being almost a spoken word track, Smith and the boys still manage to make it work exceedingly well. For most other bands, this would be a strong album track. On an album such as A Certain Trigger, though, it is a slight dip in performance, but still an exceedingly enjoyable one.
If you're looking for the next big thing, then look no further. Other bands may have more style, have more pages in the NME each week or have celebrity girlfriends earning them thousands of column inches, but Maximo Park have the tunes, lyrics and personality to keep you listening until 2006. A must have for any indie fan's collection.