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Live Gig Video: Maximo Park share ‘The Hero’ from Manchester Albert Hall show

 
By on Tuesday, 17th October 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

Back in May, North East veteran band Maximo Park toured the UK, ending their jaunt around the country at Manchester Albert Hall. They were out on the road promoting ‘Risk to Exist’, their sixth album out now, released in April. You can read my review of the long player through here. In this live performance filmed by Luke Thompson at the Albert Hall, the group perform ‘The Hero’, which I described in my review as having “a Saturday Night Fever vibe”. While Paul Smith isn’t the elastic Gumby we are used to seeing in this video, it’s still worth watching these greats of indie rock from the Noughties who are still going. You can get ‘Risk to Exist’ now on Daylighting / Cooking Vinyl. To read more about Maximo Park through our past coverage here on TGTF, use this link.

 

Album Review: Maximo Park – Risk to Exist

 
By on Wednesday, 19th April 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Maximo Park Risk to Exist album coverThese days, it’s impossible to avoid film trailers before release day. And it’s always disappointing when you’ve enjoyed the clips presented in said film trailer and spend your money to see the full feature, only to find out the film was really nothing like the trailer at all. Hopefully this wasn’t intentional, but that’s the feeling one gets from Maximo Park’s sixth album ‘Risk to Exist’, the follow-up to 2014’s ‘Too Much Information’, which suffered a similar fate.

Both the title track and more recently revealed single ‘Get High (No I Don’t)’ showed great promise to a return to the band’s earlier days in the Noughties. We here at TGTF would never want to halt a band’s natural artistic evolution, especially for a band who has been around as long as Maximo Park have. But this LP will leave you wondering where Maximo Park go from here, especially after learning that guitarist Duncan Lloyd is embarking on his own solo career. As mentioned in my review of ‘Get High (No I Don’t)’, bassist Archis Tiku left the band early this year.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7e_34RGFIE[/youtube]

Your first clue things aren’t going to the way you expected is opening track ‘What Did We Do to You to Deserve This?’ It sounds like little Stevie Winwood is guesting on Hammond organ, giving the track a definite ‘70s feel. It’s hard to get the image out of your mind, even though Paul Smith is trying to poke fun at political leaders: “You forgot to censor yourself with your limited brain”. Shall we break out the bell bottoms? Seems that way with ‘What Equals Love’. ‘The Hero’ also follows suit with a Saturday Night Fever vibe, though it’s disorientating, as its repeated synth chord intro sounds like it was taken from a young band like Formation. Smith’s vocals and matching bouncy piano chords on ‘I’ll Be Around’ is a strangely sweet slice of pop: fine enough, but oddly annoying. For an album advertised as “an album where the political is also the personal”, it’s surprising to encounter a song so devoid of substance. Maybe it’s asking for too much?

‘Respond to the Feeling’ moves things forward a bit…into the ’80s. On ‘Work and Then Wait’, a synthesiser effect buzzes and recalls Golden Silvers, although give them credit where credit’s due: Smith’s lyrics here challenge “the old boys’ club’s been throwing its weight around”, and he’s insistent “there must be a different way” than the status quo. He bemoans that “we live in a violent age” and says “I’m trying not to disengage” with life on ‘Make What You Can’. There are those buzzy, sci-fi synth chords again, as “the future gets further away” and you have to guess what Smith is suggesting we all making, as the song leans dystopian.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mStNOUpGcw4[/youtube]

Further down the tracklisting, things brighten up on ‘The Reason I Am Here’, where Smith’s yelps are seemingly as odds with the punched up guitars in the chorus. It’s one of the few standouts apart from the previously unveiled singles. You could argue it follows in the anthemic path of title track single ‘Risk to Exist’, which unfortunately gave us the initial false impression of what this LP was going to be like.

“Come for the beers, stay for the food” is a phrase used here in the States for dive bars that attract clientele on the strength of their drink deals but who can also hold their own in serving decent meals. You do begin to wonder if Maximo Park hoped the singles were strong enough to lift the rest of this album, which on the whole doesn’t sit well next to the two singles. ‘Risk to Exist’ isn’t a bad album, but you are left wondering what might have been.

6/10

Maximo Park’s sixth album ‘Risk to Exist’ is out this Friday on Daylighting / Cooking Vinyl. The Geordie band are heading out on tour in the UK next month to support this new LP. To read all of our past coverage on Maximo Park, go here.

 

Single Review: Maximo Park – Get High (No, I Don’t)

 
By on Monday, 10th April 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

There’s fun and often an element of embarrassment in listening to songs you used to love from a decade ago. At the time, practically every music fan I knew in 2006 liked Bloc Party. Because I have been a synth geek for ages, they thought I did too. Nope, never got into them. I heard ‘Banquet’ on SiriusXM last week and thought to myself, oh god, that didn’t age well at all. (Bloc Party’s album ‘Hymns’ last year, on which some people accused them of trying to become Radiohead, did them no favours.) On the other side of the country were Maximo Park, who would make their name on herky-jerky rock. While they’ve evolved and taken on politics (2012’s ‘The National Health’) and took a concerted step back from their usual in-your-face stance (2014’s ‘Too Much Information’), so far the early signs are good that the Geordies appear to be going back to what made fans fall in love with them in the first place.

Instead of trying to go back and play a young man’s game, the latest single smartly acknowledges – in a wry way, mind – that Maximo Park are no longer the young whippersnappers on the cover of NME that they used to be. The lyrical content of ‘Get High (No I Don’t)’ is not unlike Field Music’s ‘The Noisy Days Are Over’. That is, as we age (sob!), it’s true that we do grow wiser and more responsible, but who doesn’t get all misty-eyed over the days when we could party into the wee hours and still make it to work the next day and not feel like death warmed over? However, unlike that entry from their Sunderland mates, there’s a sinister subtext here. How far do you want to push this? And do you really want to be bad?

Maximo Park have even constructed this song so that it feels like you’re stuck inside a dance club: there’s no escaping the throbbing bass line throughout. (Speaking of the bass line, I’ve only just learned that following the departure of Archis Tiku, ex-Hot Club de Paris band member Paul Rafferty played bass on Maximo’s forthcoming sixth album and is their touring bassist.) This is a nice progression from the similarly bass-heavy ‘Brain Cells’ from ‘Too Much Information’.

Singer Paul Smith is on fine form too, back to being his cheeky Maximo self after indulging himself with a debut solo album 2 years ago. His vocals flit around balletically on the verses but then speed up and turn frenetic as they head for the chorus, “the language you use / just gives me the blues / it’s what you intended to do”. A strategically placed drum roll leads Smith to a shouting match with himself, where the fun loving and wicked are pitted against the virtuous and responsible. “Do you want to get high? / Do you want to unwind?”, Smith asks in a sardonic tone. So which is it? Sinner or saint, trust me, you’re going to keep pressing play on this single. Welcome back, Maximo Park. We’ve missed you.

9/10

‘Get High (No, I Don’t)’, Maximo Park’s current single, is out now on Daylighting. Sixth album ‘Risk to Exist’ is scheduled for release on the 21st of April. To flip through our past coverage of the Geordie band here on TGTF, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuSKQ51SYCI[/youtube]

 

(Charity!) Video of the Moment #2296: Maximo Park

 
By on Wednesday, 15th February 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

North East indie veterans Maximo Park have made an alternate music video for ‘Risk to Exist’, the title track of their upcoming sixth album. The LP is scheduled for a release date of the 21st of April on Daylighting. A previous promo for the single premiered when the album news and accompanying UK tour for May was unveiled in January. Showing their support for Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), which conducts search and rescue missions in our seas, the band have announced all profits from sales of this single will go to this humanitarian organisation. The band had this to say on their Facebook about MOAS and the new video:

After reading a newspaper article about the amazing work that MOAS do, we felt the song’s issues aligned perfectly with the organisation’s founding ideal – that to do nothing when people are in danger is immoral. The song is all about the fragility of life and nowhere is that more visible than in the footage of the rescues undertaken by MOAS, where flimsy dinghies are overloaded with desperate people, literally clinging on to life. Even though the song was borne from self-expression and a more generally empathetic position, it became, to my mind, a rallying call and we felt that any profit from its sale should go to helping this cause.

Watch the new video below. Buy the single or donate directly to MOAS through Maximo Park’s own effort through here. Want more on the North East band on TGTF? Follow this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmZE9e4evq0[/youtube]

 

Maximo Park / May 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 24th January 2017 at 9:00 am
 

North East indie stalwarts Maximo Park have announced a new UK tour in May. This tour will be in support for ‘Risk to Exist’, their sixth album and the follow-up to ‘Too Much Information’, released in February 2014. Tickets go on sale this Friday, the 27th of January, at 9 AM. You can listen to the title track in the promo video, embedded below the tour dates. ‘Risk to Exist’ is scheduled to drop on the 21st of April on Daylighting. For more of TGTF’s coverage of Maximo Park, you can go here.

Friday 5th May 2017 – Birmingham Institute
Saturday 6th May 2017 – Newcastle Academy
Monday 8th May 2017 – Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Tuesday 9th May 2017 – Glasgow ABC
Wednesday 10th May 2017 – Sheffield Leadmill
Friday 12th May 2017 – London Royal Festival Hall
Saturday 13th May 2017 – Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion
Monday 15th May 2017 – Cambridge Junction
Tuesday 16th May 2017 – Cardiff Tramshed
Wednesday 17th May 2017 – Falmouth Princess Pavilion
Friday 19th May 2017 – Manchester Albert Hall

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mStNOUpGcw4[/youtube]

 

Maximo Park / November 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 13th May 2015 at 8:00 am
 

Newcastle veterans Maximo Park will mark their 10th anniversary later this year with a short series of live shows in November.  Celebrating 10 years since the release of their debut ‘A Certain Trigger’, the band plan to play that album in its entirety, along with a selection of single tracks and rarities from their lengthy career.

In addition to the live shows, Maximo Park will share some of those rare tracks, one per week leading up to the anniversary date, on their official Web site.  The band will also release re-mastered versions of ‘A Certain Trigger’ and a collection of b-sides and demos titled ‘Missing Songs’ on limited edition vinyl on the 30th of October.  Below the tour date listing, you can stream the demo version of ‘Signal & Sign’.

Tickets for the following shows will go on sale this Friday, the 15th of May, at 9 AM. Previous coverage of Maximo Park on TGTF can be found here.

Tuesday 17th November 2015 – London Roundhouse
Wednesday 18th November 2015 – Manchester Albert Hall
Thursday 19th November 2015 – Newcastle City Hall
Friday 20th November 2015 – Glasgow Barrowland

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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