Saturday, December 26, 2009

Albums Of The Decade : 9 - Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger (2005)

Arguably the last of the great guitar bands that sprung up during the new wave revival (see also Bloc Party, The Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand), Maximo Park shared a taste for spiky hooks and angular guitar work with their peers, but in frontman Paul Smith they had a vital selling point: Smith's distinctive (Northern) accent and phrasing, allied to his bookish wit, saw him compared to messrs Morrissey and Jarvis. And then there were the tunes - oh boy, the tunes. On the frantic 'Apply Some Pressure', Smith sounds like he's about to explode with desperation before he reaches a moment of clarity - "What happens when you lose everything?/You just start again" and repeats it like a mantra. The superb 'Going Missing' combines chiming guitars with a contagious chorus despite some biting lyrics, 'Limmasol' uses a recurring, skewed synth line as a springboard for adrenalised punk anger, while 'Acrobat' throws a curveball with an elegant, wistful synth backdrop framing Smith's lovelorn spoken word lyric. They may have floundered a bit since, but A Certain Trigger should still go down as a classic, quintessentially British debut album.


  1. Good review.This album was definitely in my top albums of the decade.No other album has incited so much emotional passion and excitement as ACT,when the music scene was gasping and panting for some fresh input.This album was perfectly timed and should have reached a higher chart placing.
    Thank you for this review.