Published Apr 18, 2007When Newcastle, UKs Maximo Park first entered into the already oversaturated post-punk melee that introduced the likes of the Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party to the world, Maximo Park dug into a piece of the territory with their frenetic live shows and ballsy, stuttering debut, A Certain Trigger. But where the bands debut was full of spit and swagger, the follow-up, Our Earthly Pleasures, doesnt kick out the same eruptions but instead takes a more subdued, pop-inflected approach. Produced by Gil Norton (Morningwood, Ben Kweller, the Pixies), this album sees Maximo Parks fragmentary, sonic spazzing sounding somewhat cauterized. There are, however, some moments that border on Maximo Parks trademark mania, such as "The Unshockable and "By the Monument. Then theres "A Fortnights Time, a staccato-pecked track that builds up and overflows into pop ecstasy. But the bulk of Our Earthly Pleasures has shed much of the unbridled energy that made Maximo Park so appealing in the first place. Still, the album is consistently up-tempo and does deliver a lot of the same unstoppable sensibilities that Maximo Park built their reputation on. However, while Our Earthly Pleasures doesnt entirely disappoint, it doesnt stray too far off the beaten path, either.
(Warp, www.warprecords.com) (Warp)