Maxïmo Park – National Health
Maxïmo Park are back with a new album, The National Health. Released 11th June 2012, the multi layered melodies and the vivacious yelping of front man Paul Smith make this album an alluring record of fidgety Pop.
The National Health boasts blaring synths that bound around with vigour, and disarmingly brooding strings. The heavy electronic treatment can make National Health seem cold and robotic at times, but Maxïmo Park are most assuredly alive.
Less jangly and overtly upbeat than later tracks, When I was Wild prefers a dreamier kind of trip. Drenching in harmonious strings, it lends itself more noticeably to Smith’s distinct vocal sound. It begins in a harmoniously slacker fashion then spirals its way into a lulling and languid melancholia.
There’s more than a touch of strident magnificence to Hips and Lips heroic stomp. Peering into the track’s electro-haze, it can be difficult to make out anything but a brightly coloured blur. Allow yourself to be swallowed, and suddenly it all makes sense. Tinges of hypnotic psych bleed into indie guitars that makes Hips and Lips deceptively catchy and aggressively addictive.
The intelligent observations of Write This Down are downbeat, offsetting the dream songs with a blast of subversive noise.
Concluding track Waves of Fear is light and playful. Punchy riffs and complex rumbling rhythms collide infectiously to form the definition of super smart indie rock. Captivating lyrics laced in intricate production, and whipped to perfection with galloping, tireless melodies.
Maxïmo Park may be Indie veterans but crucially nothing sounds retro or dated. With the
Indie landscape dominated by generic fodder, it’s refreshing to hear an album crafted with more than guitars and nifty tunes. The National Health is effortlessly good, in spite of (not because of) what surrounds it.
Standout track – The Undercurrents
Listen to the album here and to the song The Undercurrents here: