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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Max´mo Park
Apply Some Pressure EP
Warp Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

March 25, 2005
A jolt of electricity is charging through the U.K. pop charts, blackening fingernails and frying hair. It's Max´mo Park and their hyper-kinetic, smoking hot single, "Apply Some Pressure." The English upstarts from Newcastle Upon Tyne are busy preparing their first full-length for a May 16th release. If this four-song EP is any indication, it should be a scorcher.

Bristling with post-punk energy, "Apply Some Pressure" dances to the off-kilter rhythms of Gang of Four and Franz Ferdinand. The chorus drops out of the sky like manna from heaven, and when you reach for it, your hand gets cut up and bloodied by the barbed guitar work of Duncan Lloyd. Lukas Wooller's pounding piano and wheezing organ crumble like a building blown up by the dynamite in Tom English's drums. It's as explosive and urgent as a jailbreak, and it makes Hot Hot Heat sound lukewarm by comparison - the best part is Max´mo Park is just getting started.

Next up, the thorny single, "The Coast Is Always Changing." More melodic, with hooks on loan from Idlewild, the song practically pogos on Archis Tiku's bouncing bass. And the circling, Mission of Burma-style guitar is still as sharp as a scythe. This is a band that sounds tight as a knot in your shoelaces; untangling it is a pleasure. "I am young and I am lost," sings Paul Smith in "The Coast Is Always Changing," a song about the restless, nomadic nature of youth. Here's hoping he and Max´mo Park never settle down. Complacency wouldn't suit them.

Not everything on the EP is as easy to like. Nervous and tense, like modern living, "I Want You to Leave" can't suppress the shaking of its herky-jerky verses and its ending is too abrupt, though the melody smarts like a hard slap across the face.

With more twists and turns than a country road that's not on any map, Max´mo Park's sound can cause motion sickness. That's why "Fear of Falling" comes as such a relief. It drives ahead in more of a straight-ahead fashion, propelled by Tiku's pumping bass.

He's the heart and Smith is the soul, providing strong vocals that grab you by the arm and whisk you through crowded sidewalks. Apply Some Pressure makes you feel as if you're running from the law, winding your way through people that refuse to step aside. Your heart is pounding and your legs want to fold, but the chase is exciting. It's sort of like you're in Run Lola Run - so what if you get caught. As Max´mo Park says in the title track, "What happens when you lose everything?/You just start again." Life really is as simple as that.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad



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