Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger
[Warp, www.warprecords.com]

I don't particularly dislike throwback records ' those albums that remind me of a certain time in my life. Maximo Park's debut 'A Certain Trigger' certainly leans heavily on the throwback factor. The question which begs to be asked is who this UK quintet's influences are. It's not echoes of specific bands that I hear here [though early Stranglers come to mind]. Rather, complete movements come to mind ' ska craze of early 80's, punk rock of late 70's and heavy pop-rock sensibilities that make this record a decent debut. Paul Smith's vocals are raw, edgy and drip with obvious sincerity. I suppose the greatest benefit of this band is honesty that I hear from beginning to end. Now, you'll ask, how do I know it's honest and not just made up fodder from some record company executive's desk? You just know this stuff. You feel honesty when you hear it. It's pure. It's simple. Maximo Park has this urgency about them. This high level of energy they exhibit is wild. While all songs are rather brief and most proceed and break-neck speeds, none sounds as it was rushed. 'I'll do graffiti if you sing to me in French' has got to be one of the most off-the-wall lyrics [no pun intended] I'd heard in the longest while. Keyboardist Lukas Wooller adds a specific stunning counter-balance to the bands energetic machinations. Truly, 'A Certain Trigger' is most surprising, most direct and one of the most honest debuts you'll hear all year.

Tom Sekowski


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