Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures

2007-09-12 16:43
“Girls Who Play Guitars” gets up a bit of a sweat, kicking nicely along like an above average Dirty Skirts’ filler track. “Our Velocity” is uninteresting rhythmically but the lyrics deliver some smiles, with lines like “You’re asking for commitment, well I’m somewhere in-between” and their 60s-80s-flavoured keyboard arrangements are tightly delivered.

“Books from Boxes” is actually touching, and worth picking up for use in life’s gloomier moments: “Nightfalls / and the towns become circuit boards / We can beat the sun as long as we keep moving”. And after trawling through a few flaourless mid-album tracks (each saved by the odd clever line), the deft little “Nosebleed” is preachy but perfectly pert little number that points the way to the fashionable gloom of “Sandblasted and Set Free”.

Our Earthly Pleasures has plenty iffy musical moments. It's tempting to lash out and diss these guys. But this band is really not so much bad as it is badly judged. While A Certain Trigger was overrated, this follow up is overly slated. Guess that’s the price you’ll pay for falling between Franz Ferdinand and some overly-wordy unknown poet’s barstools.

Here's a band that hasn't quite found their feet, much as they seem at first to fall neatly on the dance-rock floor. And here's guessing one of them's going to get up, and get up, and produce a promising solo album sometime soon. Probably vocalist Paul Smith.

- Jean Barker

Maximo Park’s second album isn’t all that memorable, but it has its moving moments.

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