What have Maxïmo Park got?
They ve got two albums that are just about to go platinum in the UK. A Mercury nomination for the first one, 2005 s A Certain Trigger. An impassioned fanbase that tunes in to Paul Smith s idea-packed lyrics, the songs intense pop explosion, and the band s incendiary live shows. They ve got a fanbase that turns out in droves whenever the Newcastle five-piece performs. They ve got an umlaut above the i in Maxïmo. It s the detail that matters, right? And Maxïmo Park got da funk. And they got da disco. And they got the big fckff siren klaxoning its way through Wraithlike, the opening song on their third album Quicken The Heart. Smith, Lukas Wooller (keyboards), Duncan Lloyd (guitars), Archis Tiku (bass) and Tom English (drummer) have made an album that does what it says on the cardiopulmonary resuscitation tin.
I thought the title was apt considering the new songs have a very upbeat nature, says Smith. He s shaving as he talks, standing in a hotel room in Cologne, readying for a covershoot for a German music magazine. Maxïmo Park, unlike many of their so-called peers, are properly big in Europe. They re very euphoric, the frontman continues. Sometimes very dark but at all times they re meant to quicken the heart and set the pulse racing. The line is taken from Wraithlike, and the whole idea of that song is questioning why you d write a song. Well, we write songs to convey emotions and express ourselves. Which may sound like a very basic thing to say. But having listened to a lot of pop music on the radio in my time, I know that that s not normally the case. It was an instinctual thing, says Wooller of that siren revving up through the revved-up Wraithlike. Always on the lookout for hidden sonic corners in his battery of keyboards, he found the sound by accident. Sometimes the simplest things are the best - and having the confidence to do the simplest thing is important. I think the record is shot through with that
feeling. It feels like a very natural record, adds Lloyd. Although there s nothing natural about a record with synths that sound like guitars, and guitars that sound like they re being played by Giorgio Moroder. Nothing natural, but everything exciting...