Maximo Park : Going Missing

Lopsided classic from barber-scaring, daft-umlaut popsters

What’s going on? With po-faced pop commentators still sifting through the detritus of Live8 for cultural significance, it seems almost rude to point out that the second tier of art-rockers, led by Bloc Party and The Futureheads, continue their angular ascent of the rock mountain with relentless vigour. Maximo Park are fronted by a singer, Paul Smith, who looks like the oddball bloke from the Yakult yoghurt ads and play a vicious Jam-meets-Pavement jerk-rock until now best exemplified by the splendid ‘Graffiti’. Three years ago, the chances of them troubling the thought patterns of Reggie Yates would have been as likely as catching Sebastian from DFA 1979 morris -dancing. Yet ‘Going Missing’ is another anxious classic. “I lay my hands across my chest/And dream of you with someone else,” gasps Paul amid a spiky splurge of guitars. B-side ‘A19’ is an anti-regionalist rant which finds him banished from the bright lights like a modern-day Billy Liar: “A continent could fall/And it would have no impact on our lives!”. Great guitar pop with meaning: who could ask for more? Excluded from fashion due to financial and social restraints, Maximo Park are hosting their own party, and we’re all invited. Bring your own cider.