You might have forgotten how good Maximo Park are since it’s been a while since they released a high calibre indie album.

We patiently waited for an album that was as strong as their early work, but the Geordie quartet are back with their sixth album to rival the others. Although it has been over a decade since their debut album A Certain Trigger hit the scene, Maximo Park’s sound has stayed as new as it did when we first heard it.

No surprises here, all eleven tracks on Risk to Exist stick to their usual pop guitar riffs with added synth. From start to finish, the album has a live feel, where all instruments marry together well. The upcoming tour in May will no doubt prove this (and hopefully provide us with plenty of singer, Paul Smith’s, high kicks).

There’s plenty of indie dancefloor anthems on this latest album, “Get High (No I Don’t)” is a classic case of Risk to Exist’s hip shaking abilities and catchy lyrics to boot which we have been missing from their more recent releases.

Smith’s recognisable Geordie accent is ripe and his voice punches through the symbols well, especially on the first release from the album, ‘Risk to Exist’, an unusually drum-dominant track that undoubtedly provides the drummer, Tom English, a good workout. In contrast ‘I’ll be Around’ puts the keyboards first, reminiscent of old tracks from Maximo Park’s back catalogue.

The lyrics have a surprisingly more thought-provoking tone than in previous albums, that are certainly in light of the recent social and political issues, which seems far removed from their old tracks like ‘Girls who Play Guitars’. Opening track ‘What Did We Do to You to Deserve This?’ is an introduction into the thought provoking album with lyrics such as “You forgot to mention that equality remains”. Providing lyrical content that goes beyond boring pop nonsense, Smith has undeniably thought about the empathic message that Risk to Exist puts across.

This album doesn’t hold a candle to A Certain Trigger, but is certainly one of their best. With so many toe-tapping melodies and quick indie lyrics, this is an excellent album for long term fans and those new to their sound. Due for release on the 21st of April, it is well worth pre-ordering Risk to Exist.


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