Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
on 19 July 2005
Post-punk is one of the Sounds Of The Moment, with bands like Bloc Party and the Kaiser Chefs hitting the music headlines. Now Maximo Park offers their brand of high-octane post-punk, which accomplishes exactly what it apparently is meant to do: Be dancey.
It starts off on a rather slow note with "Signal and Sign." It isn't a bad song, but it doesn't really hook you in and make you want to hear whatever comes next. The second song "Apply Some Pressure" manages what the first does not -- killer beats, spasmodic riffs, and some sinuous keyboard that gives it a new wave flavour.
That pattern follows throughout the album, relying on a rough rock mentality tempered with lots of keyboard. Sometimes they err on the side of gritty bass, and sometimes the songs rest on a bed of fuzzy electronics and bouncy guitars. But they all have two things in common: Dancey rhythms, and a new wave edge.
Maximo Park get points for lack of pretension -- they never pretend that their music is anything but fun, dancey music. No arty edges, no bizarre flourishes. It makes their angular rock songs seem more down-to-earth, since they aren't trying to impress anyone.
It does, however, take awhile to separate the songs -- they could have used a bit more variety of sound, which only comes in with the eerie blips and fuzz guitar of "Acrobat." And the riffs tend to fall into a repeating pattern. That said, these guys have enormous energy and kinetic verve, and the new-wave edges bring their buzzing and chiming guitars to life.
And it helps that the singer can actually sing. He's got a pleasantly everyday voice, also without any pretensions of angst or ennui, that can nevertheless stand above the thick dancepunk noise: "If you're gonna talk about the things I need/then you're gonna have to find out what they are!"
While dancepunk may be a trend, Maximo Park gets props for being a pretty good example of the genre. Fun, dancey and unpretentious, these guys may well outlive the trend.