Maximo Park A Certain Trigger

[Warp; 2005]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: brit rock, indie rock
Others: Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand

Basically, all you need to know about this record is: if you enjoy the type of upbeat frenetic rock music popularized by the debuts of the Futureheads and Franz Ferdinand then you're going to have a whole lot of fun listening to this album, and if not, then what the hell is your problem?

Maximo Park does its best to continue the tradition of NME-hyped spunky brit rock bands, and the result is just as good as anyone could hope to expect from another debut record. Like the Futureheads' self-titled release last year, A Certain Trigger is a set of short-but-sweet energetic rock songs. And, like the Futureheads, loud, jangly guitar lines lead the arrangements with a strong instrumental punch. Unlike the Futureheads, however, Maximo Park doesn't have to rest on a gimmick like multiple four-part harmonies to get the job done -- their clever melodic lines, bass-guitar dynamics, and occasional organs are all they need to create snappy songs with endless hooks.

Sure, the album has a few low points (I don't know what the hell's going on with "Acrobat"), but the high points are so fantastic that their missteps are easily forgiven. "The Coast Is Always Changing" is the obvious standout on this album, with its forceful vocals and soaring guitars. The first five or so songs are all excellent, as well (especially the almost-perfect "Apply Some Pressure"), as is "All Over the Shop," with its climax of "I know you'll be fine/ now that you're not mine!" followed by a few bars of thundering percussion leading into the final chorus. But almost every song is a worthy contender to become a successful single -- they're all that witty, charming, and fun to hear. It's fantastic to have another one of these albums new this summer, and we can only hope that other bands will step up to fill the void as we all wait for the inevitable wave of sophomore efforts.

1. Signal And Sign
2. Apply Some Pressure
3. Graffiti
4. Postcard Of A Painting
5. Going Missing
6. I Want You To Stay
7. Limassol
8. Coasts Is Always Changing, The
9. Night I Lost My Head, The
10. Once, A Glimpse
11. Now I'm All Over The Shop
12. Acrobat
13. Kiss You Better