The New Classic
What began as an experimental EP outgrew its aims, but do the North East's finest suit a lurch into the unknown?
Maxïmo Park singer Paul Smith had been working with Field Music's Brewis brothers before he decided the songs he was coming up with were too strong to leave to the margins. So Too Much Information becomes their fifth album, and it reveals a band hoping to broaden their template.
They've always been fiercely catchy and winningly rough-edged with it. Plenty of that's intact, but the new Maxïmo Park favour softer touches and fear the all-out assault of old. This new subdued side is a great thing on the quietly anthemic tremelo balladry of closing track Where We're Going; muted numbers like Lydia, The Ink Will Never Dry and Leave This Island would benefit from a gutsier treatment.
More adventurous stuff like Brain Cells' electro-wobble – like a Martin Gore-fronted Depeche Mode single – and Is It True's synthy flights work out pretty well, but you can't help a hankering for a real Maxïmo blast. That comes with the ramshackle jagged guitars of My Bloody Mind, and penultimate song Her Name Was Audre is pure trad Park, but it feels a little late. They'd be better strapping those balls on again.