Maximo Park - Too Much Information  - Cover- 2014

MAXIMO PARKToo Much Information

01. Give, Get, Take
02. Brain Cells
03. Leave This Island
04. Lydia, The Ink Will Never Dry
05. My Bloody Mind
06. Is It True?
07. Drinking Martinis
08. I Recognise The Light
09. Midnight On The Hill
10. Her Name Was Audre
11. Where We’re Going

Does the world still need MAXIMO PARK? This question might sound a bit odd since it’s nobody’s turn to make that decision. But let’s face the facts – it’s 2014 and the big indie-rock buzz has faded out a while ago. FRANZ FERDINAND are still doing their best, BLOC PARTY probably parted ways and only a few are still waiting for a LIBERTINES reunion. Almost one decade after their critically acclaimed debut A Certain Trigger the five-piece from Newcastle return with a fifth album called Too Much Information. A record that got stuck between past, present and potential ideas for a future.

As the band recently told NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION the new record was never planned as a full-length album. It originally started as an EP with befriended electronica band FIELD MUSIC. And as MAXIMO PARK were already in a good work flow they just continued recording. No rules, no expectations – Too Much Information follows no map. A fact which makes it one of the band’s most interesting albums on one side. But on the other side it’s their most indecisive record to date. It lacks of a clear direction and a coherent idea although it’s filled with plenty of interesting singular ones.

While the first track Give, Get, Take is basically just another typical MAXIMO PARK song like we’ve heard it way too often in the past ten years the following tracks Brain Cells and Leave This Island surprise the listener with their dark electronic wave character. The work with FIELD MUSIC resulted in a lovely new direction. The voice of singer Paul Smith shows its sinister and soulful sides, the discreetness within the songs marks a really lovely and refreshing idea for the rusty musical corset of this band. “I wanted to try something different this time” – quite obvious lyrics for Brain Cells. Lydia, The Ink Will Never Dry follows these two tunes with a decent and very SMITHS-like new wave character. The laidback Is It True heads into the same direction.

While the more electronic songs are a nice new idea the second half of Too Much Information lacks a bit of bravery. MAXIMO PARK fall back into old indie-rock-routines (My Bloody Mind) and provide mediocre material (Drinking Martinis, I Recognise The Light). They might not even be bad songs but quite quick you’ll find yourself in an ‘I’ve heard that before’-scenario. MAXIMO PARK have a very own style of writing songs. They follow a certain formula, especially Smith and his vocals. This might give them certain uniqueness but also made the band predictable over the course of the past ten years.

Although Too Much Information provides solid songs and a few new ideas – especially in its first half – you can’t help but feel a bit deflated after listening to it. MAXIMO PARK took a few tiny steps into a new direction but they didn’t entirely manage to shake off the dust from their sound. It’s like with the past two records. 3 to 4 really brilliant pieces of indie-pop and plenty of other songs you’ll soon find quite hard to match them to the right album of the band. You can’t deny the exchangeable character of a lot of songs. And maybe the worst possible way to answer the initial question whether we need this band anymore is: ‘Who cares?’ And this can’t be in the interest of these guys.

Although providing a few new twists “Too Much Information” from MAXIMO PARK doesn’t manage to entirely shake off the worn-out formula of the band which makes it quite predictable.

NBHAP Rating: 2,5/5