Maximo Park – 'Too Much Information' album review

On album number five, the Tynesiders have further refined their wordy indie-disco tunes

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5

Own-brand booze is the must-have accessory for indie bands this season. Mogwai have just announced a limited edition whisky, and Super Furry Animals have a new beer called Fuzzy. To mark the release of their fifth album, Newcastle’s Maximo Park have also created their own signature beer. It’s named Maximo No 5 (cute) and will be available at their forthcoming shows.

Their LP, however, is definitely not a beer album. On ‘Too Much Information’ he five-piece have created the kind of lively, zesty punch that bands with over ten years in the game are able to mix. Produced with customary good taste by fellow North Easterners Field Music, this is a varied album – more mature and pleasingly wider in scope. 

There are a few important caveats, however. If you still associate Maximo Park with jerky post-punk rhythms and emo-tinged mosh-em-ups, jog on. They’ve opened up to the downbeat disco of Chromatics for example (on ‘Is It True?’) or Hurts’s formula of mournful sophisti-pop (as heard on single ‘Leave This Island’).

The change in sonic styling opens up another potential hurdle for the casual fan: Paul Smith’s lyrics. He’s always been a sensitive soul, but now that he’s purged the protective layers of guitar fuzz around his vocals, his earnestness beams like a lighthouse. Lines like ‘she didn’t bore me with her consummate display’ (from the delicately-titled ‘Lydia, The Ink Will Never Dry’) will undoubtedly annoy those with a low tolerance for the pretentious.

Get past these hurdles, though, and you have a slow-burning treat, which bridges a gap between the wide-eyed innocence of ’80s indie and the more muscular sound of radio-friendly pop. We’ll definitely drink to that.

Buy this album here

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