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.