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5 Mar 2007, 19:29

So following on from my hastily scribbled entry on the forthcoming Maxïmo Park album, I've finally stopped listening to it for long enough to write a bit more. Trust me, for those of you who don't quite warm to it at first, it grows.

I've said before that it's a little less angry than A Certain Trigger, but on further listening that intensity and frenetic energy is still very definitely there, it's just refined and slightly more deftly handled.

I'm seeing this (and I know disagreement will follow in spades) as a bit of an evolution, which is about the most amazing thing that can happen for a fan. Naming no names, but a few bands have recently put out second albums which can be most generously described as pallid imitations of their former selves. Not good.

So, the 2nd album hurdle over with, what of the tracks? The single ( Our Velocity) stands out as possibly the most familiar sounding track on the whole thing, but once you scratch the surface to gems like Karaoke Plays and especially Sandblasted, the way this lot have moved forwards as musicians and songwriters really becomes apparent. Parisian Skies is the only one that doesn't really grab me, yet, but in a 12 track album that's a pretty admirable hitrate.

I'll have to refer to my earlier post for my out and out favourite - the opener (Girls Who Play Guitars) is one of those tracks that convinces you to stick the whole album on repeat, listening to it... just one more time... just one more time... and so on. Top stuff.

So to all those grumpy old men who huddle at the back of ULU with their arms folded mumbling about how they don't make 'em like The Cure or The Smiths anymore, ferchrissakes get yourself down the front of the next Maxïmo Park gig and have yourselves proved oh so very wrong.

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