When Maximo Park released their debut in 2005, many critics were hoping the new wave revival was coming to an end. A Certain Trigger was catchy, but also included almost every post-punk trope that could be imagined. It’s jolting rhythmic changes took time to get used to, but slowly the band managed to ditch the comparisons to Razorlight and The Futureheads. Fast-forward to this year’s Our Earthly Pleasures, where the band has slightly toned down the frantic, angular rock and taken steps toward a slow, steady maturation process. The Newcastle quintet landed in Toronto this past Saturday night to support their latest disc by playing to a hyper, sold out crowd at the Mod Club.
The club erupted as soon as the buzzing guitar of “Graffiti” came through the speakers, an energy which the band would feed off of through the whole show. They were no slouches either, especially singer Paul Smith. The bowler wearing Smith was the ideal frontman, bouncing and jumping his way through the set, the perfect representation for the band’s hyperactive music. It also looked like he was busting out some air guitar moves at points, but he was rather awful at it so it might have been something else entirely.
Musically, the band exceeded expectations. The mix was perfect, with all instruments capable of being heard with stunning clarity. The bass lines of Archis Tiku were complex, producing a richer sound on “Girls Who Play Guitars” and other new songs. They had no problems with the halting rhythmic changes, producing seamless versions of songs from both of their albums. Smith’s thick Geordie vocals sounded better than on record, matching the intensity of the live sound.
While the set dragged a tad in the middle thanks to a bunch of newer songs, the beginning and ending were as perfect as any concert can be. Thanks in part to the 10 p.m. curfew in place by the Mod Club, Maximo Park left everyone in the crowd wanting more. We sure hope they’ll be back soon.
As an added bonus, we’ve got three copies of Our Earthly Pleasures to give away. All you have to do is be one of the first three people to send an e-mail to [email protected] and correctly answer this question: What Maximo Park song has Mark Ronson covered on his latest CD?
Photo by Carrie Musgrave.