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Monday, February 13th, 2006

Apply Some Pressure

So I will admit, I was fully prepared to hate Maximo Park. Actually, I already did, though based on little more than watching half a video, I forget which, and thinking they looked way too… dapper? Anyway, I figured they were Franz-alikes and decided I didn’t have any time for them and that was that. But a couple weeks ago, a copy of their forthcoming b-sides comp Missing Songs (which will be out next Tuesday) showed up in my mailbox and I gave it a spin. And another. And another. Turns out that snap judgements based on fleeting superficial evidence might not be the best way to make up one’s mind about a band! Who knew?

For an odds-and-sods collection, Missing Songs is surprisingly solid. There’s a few tracks where they get a little too obviously post-punk for my liking, but a lot of the songs are good catchy, melodic and definitely British tunes. They’re cheeky but not snotty, and that’s a distinction that keeps them on my good side. Their proper full-length album got Metacritic, and If this is how good their cutouts are, I will definitely be picking up a copy of A Certain Trigger soon.

Since Maximo Park counted/counts as a buzz band of sorts, there’s a fair bit of press to catch up on for the newly interested – Drowned In Sound and Ilford Recorder have interviews, while Under The Radar surveyed the band about their 2005 faves while Spin declared them Band Of The Day last month. And proving themselves to be up with the times, the band themselves keep a blog and have not one but TWO MySpace pages. Curiously, the unofficial one has tunes to sample, while the official one does not. They’ve also got some suitably stylish videos for you to enjoy.

Video: Maximo Park – “Apply Some Pressure” (MOV)
Video: Maximo Park – “I Want You To Stay” (eCard)

And according to NME, Maximo Park’s fellow Northern Englanders The Futureheads have completed their second album News And Tributes in time for a release in May of this year. I actually liked their eponymous debut record quite a bit, but never listen to it for some reason. True story.

The Daily Northwestern has words with Greg Wheelan of The Wrens (via Largehearted Boy) and Popmatters catches up with the Little Quill crew about where they’re at with their documentary of the band.

The Fiery Furnaces’ new, got-to-be-better-than-Rehearsing My Choir album Bitter Tea is out April 18. Matthew Friedberger talks to Rolling Stone about their “girly” new record.

Toronto’s Airfields have completed a second EP entitled Laneways, and have a couple tracks posted for your enjoyment on their MySpace page. They hope to have CDs available for sale when they play Wavelength on March 5, and 10″s ready for their gig opening for The Wedding Present at Lee’s on March 10.

This interview between Westword and Amy Millan of Stars is pretty much devoid of value EXCEPT for Ms Millan revealing that her long-overdue solo record Honey From The Tombs will finally be coming out on May 27! Via For The Records. Also, San Diego CityBeat and Boulder Dirt talks to Evan Cranley as Stars tour the western US.

The Globe & Mail profiles current man of the hour Leonard Cohen, who if the writer is to be believed, is only 5’5″. I don’t know why, but I always thought he was taller than that.

Young & Sexy have confirmed their Toronto show, but I was off by a couple days in my guesstimate. They’ll be at the Drake Underground on April 22 and their new album Panic When You Find It is out this Tuesday.

Stylus eulogizes Arrested Development. I’ve only managed to watch the first of Friday’s four episodes, SO NO ONE RUIN THE END FOR ME. I haven’t actually read the Stylus piece for this very reason.

Congrats to Rodney from B(oot)log for winning my Zunior contest – to see his top-ten playlist, click here.

np – Jens Lekman / Oh You’re So Silent Jens

By : Frank Yang at 9:00 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. angryrobot says:

    I ignored Maximo Park for the same reason, until I took a few minutes to listen to their album at a record store. I think they deserve a little more than the also-ran status they seem to have been stuck with.

  2. sam says:

    get A Certain Trigger, Frank! come on.

  3. Torr says:

    Just in case there’s any confusion, "Missing Songs" is out in the U.S. on Feb 21st, not this Tuesday.

  4. Frank says:

    right, which is why I said "next Tuesday" and not "this Tuesday".

  5. Jerad says:

    I’ve hated Maximo Park for months, as well, although I’m really not sure if I’ve listened to them at all. Maybe it’s time to give them another chance now that I can borrow the album from a friend.

  6. david says:

    I didn’t expect to like MP (every buzz band needs an acronym) either, but I’ve been listening to them quite a bit lately.

    "which is why I said "next Tuesday" and not ‘this Tuesday’."

    Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode based on this?

  7. Jordan says:

    On the subject of ‘Arrested Development’, while I’m sad to see the series end, I’ve found this season incredibly uneven; the final four episodes were no different. I hope that it’s down to the difficulties the creative team have had to deal with in having their storyline chopped at the end of last season and chopped again this season, rather than an empty tank of gas, because my fingers are crossed that this rumoured deal with Showcase for two more seasons goes ahead.

    Nonetheless, Frank, enjoy; certainly the final episode is the strongest of the four.

  8. Scarlet says:

    Yeah, I got them on a whim and LOVE them. SO much fun!

  9. Jennifer says:

    I just found about maximo park a couple of days ago and I watch all thier music videos like I don’t know how many times. I love thier music and the lead singer paul is so hot! I can’t wait until they have a concert near where I live.