Maxïmo Park’s emotional nature to their indie-rock has never overwhelmed it into emotionalism, and that’s been all for the better. Even if they’re never been as big outside of their native U.K. as inside, they’ve never turned themselves into Coldplay. There’s a cool to latest release, Risk To Exist, as well as a more political edge, which sometimes muddies the waters.
Cool can work very well in alternative music (just look at Spoon), but it can get at cross-purposes here. The emotion behind such tracks as “The Reason I Am Here” and “Make What You Can” gets a bit lost beneath Park’s cool, likewise the emotional/political mix to “Work and Then Wait”. Better is when the band goes funky, such as opener “What Did We Do to You to Deserve This?” and the indie-disco with bite “The Hero”. And the fun to anti-party piece “Get High (No, I Don’t)” is great – the record could have used more of it.
Maxïmo Park are well enough into their careers to be considered consistent in their delivery, and even if Risk To Exist doesn’t match previous highs, it’s still quite welcome to Exist.