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195) Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures

Maximo Park are one of those bands that seem to have always been around but never really broken through. Usual read on the internet shows, as usual, I am wrong. They have been with us since 2000 and have released seven albums with four making the top ten and the other three top twenty. Our Earthly Pleasures was their second album and entered the charts at number two. This would suggest they have almost definitely broken through.


We are ushered in by jaggy guitar riffs, think a mix of Wire and Elastica, and keyboards as Girls Who Play Guitars launches itself and doesn’t really stop and the single Our Velocity is equally addictive and full on.


Books from Boxes singer Paul Smith clearly shows his Northern vocal, not a criticism, it’s highly effective and the song is not as intense as the first two tracks but is a considered ballad on the ending of a relationship, oh and its excellent.


Russian Literature is a single piano that is prominent throughout the song, but the rest of the band come in and the band are happy to shape and shift the song to the very end, this is musicians who know their instruments and how best to suit each song.


I’m not sure if Paul Smith was going through or had been through a breakup but with the already mentioned Books and Your Urge “I cause upset without trying” and the straight to the point By the Monument “We sleep tonight in separate towns,” he is not afraid to show his own vulnerabilities.


A couple of tracks are run of the mill, Nosebleed and A Fortnight’s Time but still pleasant enough and we end with Parisian Skies where Smith again is examining a relationship “Oh I don’t think she knew, how much I loved her,” she will now Paul.


An enjoyable “difficult second album” and you can see why they broke through, only an idiot would think otherwise.




GIVE IT A STREAM: Books from Boxes

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