Whereas most indie-rock wallows in sadness, or spits righteous fury, England’s Maxïmo Park have long gone for the more hopeful, without turning treacly. Their angular edge, in addition to being oh-so-British, gives their hope an actual edge, yet doesn’t go so overboard as to be only appreciated by rock critics looking to use the world “angular.” There have been highs and lows, like with any act, but Nature Always Wins wins.
Despite the possibly-coincidental title, Nature is not a COVID lockdown record, but brings Maxïmo Park’s catchy indie-jangle. “Baby, Sleep” (QRO review) is big, fun indie-rock, while fellow single “I Don’t Know What I’m Doing” (QRO review) has great angular charm. The band doesn’t have to be funny, such as the soaring, searing emotion of “Versions of You”, and even turn more thoughtful in pieces like “Why Must a Building Burn”, the low-key “Feelings I’m Supposed To Feel”, and closer “Child of the Flatlands”.
While we’ll have to wait until lockdown is over – or their March 6th livestream – to see if singer Paul Smith still has his signature hat, we all know that Nature Always Wins.