Maximo Park : The National Health
A mellow opening minute slips from earshot and a blistering six-stringed barrage ensues, announcing the resurgence of celebrated alt-rock outfit Maximo Park. There is every indication it’s business as usual for the Newscastle band, though that’s actually what makes The National Health – their fourth studio album – so difficult to dismiss.
If you’ve been a fan of Maximo Park from as early as 2005, the era of their acclaimed breakout album , A Certain Trigger, there ought to be a degree of comfort in The National Health’s splendours. It sees their deft pop sensibilities collide with ambitious craftsmanship, channelled through an electrifying indie-rock filter.
Meanwhile thanks to Paul Smith, The National Health sports an arresting sentimentality. Displaying a big heart beneath Maximo Park’s brash indie-rock bravado. “I wouldn’t bet my life, but maybe things might change tomorrow,” Smith muses anxiously, personal concerns clashing with political commentary in the album’s title track. Meanwhile, the stinging spite of Write This Down culminates in a slice of irresistible pop and the sunny Take Me Home gives rise to a bold gesture.
In the context of Maximo Park’s catalogue, The National Health doesn't exactly push the envelope. It does however, smack of electrifyingly brilliant indie-rock and pop, leaving listeners without cause for complaint.
BY NICK MASON
Best Track: The National Health
If You Like This, You’ll Like These: This Is Not The World THE FUTUREHEADS, Our Earthly Pleasures MAXIMO PARK
In A Word: Resurgent