Monday, May 11

Maximo Park- 'Quicken The Heart'

. Monday, May 11

This is Fake DIY

Since emerging in 2005 Maximo Park have slowly but surely built up a devoted fan base and a solid supply of indie dance floor hits. From the frenetic ‘Apply Some Pressure’ to the anthemic ‘Our Velocity’ the North Eastern bands combination of the romantic and intellectual have proved a huge hit. So it’s a great shame on the first spin of the bands third album that none of the urgency is present. The tracks trudge by barely registering themselves and no spark or energy are forthcoming. The likes of ‘Wraithlike’ and the new single ‘The Kids Are Sick Again’ lack a certain magic, the Maximo factor if you like that ran through their previous work so strongly.

In fact it’s quite possible to really dislike ‘Quicken The Heart’ on first impressions, it is only with repetition that the gems and treats reveal themselves from behind the rocks of disappointment. For example the chorus of ‘Roller Disco Dreams’ is a classic Maximo ode to future love and starry-eyed excitement similar to say ‘Books From Boxes’ or ‘Once, A Glimpse’. Similarly ‘In Another World’ expresses the small town way of life in a way Tom Clarke could not even dream of. Fans of dodgy nights out in Newcastle or Ross Noble DVD’s will quickly relate to the line “On the revolving dance floor, in the middle of the river.” Melodically ‘Quicken The Heart’ is a winner, singer Paul Smith has crafted a series of hooks that are easily unforgettable and none more so on the destined to be a crowd favourite ‘The Penultimate Clinch’- it’s Joy Division esque bass line adding a darker air to the bands sound.

Whilst positives can be drawn from this album there are also a lot of negatives. It’s is comfortably the worst of Maximo Parks discography thus far and symptomatic of a slump that, dare we say it, started after the bands very first single. There is far too much filler on ‘Quicken The Heart’ with tracks such as ‘Calm’, ‘Tanned’ and ‘Overland, West Of Suez’ seeming particularly surplus. Special criticism must go to ‘Let’s Get Clinical’ though, a painfully bad attempt at being erotic instead coming out sounding like the prelude to a sexual harassment case.

Existing fans of the band will lap this up and the haters will take ample ammunition from it but to the neutral ‘Quicken The Heart’ simply feels undercooked.


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