Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures

Stas Werno 21/04/2007

Rating: 3/5

With respected Pixies and Foo Fighters producer Gil Norton at the helm of Maximo Parks second album 'Our Earthly Pleasures', I was more than eager to hear where the band had headed - especially with them having likened their new sound to legendary bands such as the Smashing Pumpkins. So when I heard first single 'Our Velocity' I was fairly disappointed. Yes, it is an upbeat, stomping brawl of indie pop but it was still just more of the same. Graffiti part 2.

Despite a blinding opener to the tune of 'Girls Who Play Guitars', by third track (and up coming single) 'Books From Boxes' the feeling remains unchanged, it just doesn't sound like anything new. With 'Russian Literature', a move from the now well established 'Park formula does become apparent, though it's less post-grunge and more post-ELO. Followed by some standard guitar based mulch that could best be described as "Yeah, you know... it's alright" I'm left uninspired by the end of the first half of the record.

'Unshockable' provides a little relief with a slightly edgier feel that the album would have been a lot better off for had the band pursued it further, but it's like they thought they went too far and the mulch returns for the next few tracks to keep them in the safe zone.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a disaster, 'Girls Who Play Guitars', 'Our Velocity', 'Russian Literature', 'Unshockable' and 'Fortnight's Time' are worth a few listens, but overall the album feels bland and tired. If you weren't a fan of Maximo Park before, this record definitely won't change your mind. If you loved debut album 'A Certain Trigger' you won't be left feeling cheated or suicidal, but it's likely they'll soon become a distant memory as new, more exciting albums are released.