These are tricky times for indie bands with designs on the mainstream. Recent albums by Kaiser Chiefs, the Fratellis and Razorlight have all bombed alarmingly.
I don’t think that will happen to Maximo Park – partly because they were never that huge in the first place: their fanbase is medium-sized and committed, not mammoth and transitory.
But also because their new track ‘Wraithlike’, which you can download from Maximopark.com as of today, sounds impressively purposeful, and suggests they’ve made the sensible decision to go weirder, not safer.
It’s very short, but those 2-and-a-half minutes are packed with addictive things: Jerky, XTC-style stop-start dynamics, a ‘Blockbuster’-esque siren, chippy, song-as-manifesto lyrics (“a minor statement meant to counteract the bland”).
It’s also free of the some of the big, slick, 90s-alt-rock sonic touches Gil Norton brought to their last album, which I don’t think really suited them. Plus, like ‘Our Velocity’, it manages the neat trick of sounding frantic and full of ideas, while still being anchored by a pretty mighty, easy-to-grasp chorus.
‘Wraithlike’ is the first track to emerge from the band’s third album ‘Quicken The Heart’, recorded with Yeah Yeah Yeahs producer Nick Launay in Los Angeles, and due for release in May.
You can listen below. What do you think?