Maximo Park
Risk To Exist


3.5
great

Review

by MercuryToHell CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
April 23rd, 2017 | 10 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While not quite awash with risk, the existence of this band still gives plenty of cause for cheer.

Maximo Park succeed, first and foremost, because of their strong sense of identity. The mid-2000s in Britain saw a seeming production line of identikit, pseudo-awkward, jagged and angular indie bands, most of whom rode the hype train as far as the end of one or (in rarer cases) two album cycles, usually being hyperbolically lavished with the ‘this band is so important’ tag, before disappearing into anonymity. Park themselves have always quietly risen above this trope without blowing their own trumpet or turning too many heads at once, as their seeming refusal to stray into the limelight has enabled them to consistently perform and produce great material without the glaring lights of an increasingly redundant and unwelcoming Top 40 to prove a distraction. In Paul Smith, they have an ace in the sleeve, a working-class hero in the vocal mould of Cocker and Albarn, keen to play to his own strengths rather than rely on the clichés of others. So 10 years after the release of acclaimed sophomore effort Our Earthly Pleasures, is it more of the same, or have the band adopted an evolve-or-die attitude"

The pop sensibilities are still front and centre, and the jutting, reverb heavy riffing bulks out the record and punches unpredictably atop warm disco-esque percussion, with quirky organs and synths creating a fuzzy but inviting overall aesthetic. So far so good, and if the band tickle your fancy just from the pleasantness of their sound, then Risk To Exist will tick the same boxes the last decade of work has, even if they don’t take any real… well, risks or sidesteps in their presentation. The interesting dilemma that this album poses is that where it takes on a much more political leaning than previous entries in the band’s discography, does the bouncing, carefree, dance-friendly sound of Maximo Park inherently weaken any idea of protest or revolt" Is the idea of disappointment and rage at the government not more suited to a band with a bit more bite" Or could it be that the idea of this record is in the discussion rather than the resolution" Smith and co. would argue the latter, having been quoted recently as saying ‘it’s good to question the world we live in’ – which might seem a little pithy and empty at first glance but it remains an important point, particularly in an apparently disillusioned and disjointed Britain. This, however, is a discussion for another forum – what we can take away from Risk To Exist is that Maximo Park are not happy with the world at large, but are happy to express themselves through a more positive unity rather than upping the punk aesthetic, and this sound suits them well. So while it is not unfair to note that some of the allegory and metaphor can be a little messy, sometimes a little blunt and unglamorous, Maximo Park have created another highly enjoyable, fun record, with just a touch more satire and sting in light of confrontational political times.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2017


1255 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Attempted to add the album cover and it didn't like it for some reason.

Apologies for this being my first one in a while, super hyper busy with the real world at the moment, moving house to the other side of the country this week and starting a new job the week after so been a tad on the distracted side!

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 23rd 2017


25033 Comments


Have some artwork =)

Nice review, great job as always.

Digging: Brand New - Science Fiction

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2017


1255 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh, to be a mod. Cheers, Ariana!

Crawl
April 23rd 2017


2361 Comments


Nice review, though I feel you speak too little about the album itself.

I actually think Too Much Information is pretty underrated, but I'm not feeling this one. Will give it more listens for sure.

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2017


1255 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is not my best work, assuredly, and I agree it might be a little top heavy in relation to talking about the record itself. Thankyou for seeing the better side of it, anyway!

conditionals
April 24th 2017


532 Comments


Yeah I was going to say, maybe talk about the album a little bit more? But otherwise solid. Like this album. Definitely seems like a 3.5, no more no less.

BTW I also liked Too Much Information! Probably my favourite since the debut.

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2017


1255 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think I should give Too Much Information another go, never liked it quite as much as their early work but maybe I was being a little harsh on it!

Crawl
April 24th 2017


2361 Comments


Yeah, TMI is a lot of fun. I like the more atmospheric tracks like Brain Cells and Is It True, and it also has Midnight on the Hill which is imo their best song.

Get High is bothering me, I find it pretty damn annoying.

bloc
April 24th 2017


44244 Comments


A Certain Trigger was awesome

Digging: Beastmilk - Climax

tommygun
April 25th 2017


26706 Comments


mid 2000s british indie is the goat genre and these guys had some fuckin jams, will give this a spin

pos



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