Spring is here and it’s always a hectic and crazy time. This year even more so for a multitude of reasons and Mojo20 are running at 100mph… but I’ve been waiting for the start of April so I can use our Throwback Thursday feature to look back at some of my favourite albums of all time, released this time ten whole years ago. So here we go…
On the 2nd of April 2007, Maximo Park returned with their sophomore album ‘Our Earthly Pleasures’, picking up where they left off with their incredible debut only two years before. They’d set their own bench mark extremely high for high octane indie rock and lovable and memorable alt-pop, and had a hell of a task recreating the same magic, whilst not being labelled one trick ponies. So when Paul Smith and his merry bunch of Geordies dropped ‘OEP’ on awaiting and adoring fans, there was no disappointment at all as they not only turned up the tempo, but released a record of fast paced, fun and exciting music. ‘Girls Who Play Guitars’ kicks off the album and it just sets the tone of the whole thing perfectly. Lyrical genius, down to earth content talking of pretentiousness, live music and promiscuous women, whilst being as catchy as hell at the same time. First track and you’re hooked. That’s before getting to lead single ‘Our Velocity’ which appears as a blend of about four songs that were masterfully mixed together to create one super track. I heard the Sugababes did that once, but who gives a shit, this is the real deal. Building in intensity with a ferocious guitar riff, accompanied by 80’s-esque keyboard playing, it still stands as one of the greatest tracks of the 21st century. ‘Books From Boxes’ is an absolute heartbreaker and has been the theme for many an emotional moment back in those late teenage years. Again, lyrically wonderful and with a more sentimental feel than either of the previous tracks on the album, stopping you dead in your tracks and putting the party on pause for just a minute, but it’s a glorious and welcome break. ‘Unshockables’ is a full on sprint of aggressive and powerful indie rock n roll, as Smith asks “Have we become the unshockable? Or have we become the saddened?” which always resonated with me as the world continued to change, speed up and demand more and more access to the amazing and the convenient. It only continued and is illustrated perfectly by todays arrogant prank video/Top 5 greatest fishing videos gone viral society. Paul Smith predicted the future just perfectly on this one.
Hell I could go on and talk about how great ‘Karaoke Plays’ is, or how amazing and underrated ‘Sandblasted & Set Free’ was the first time I heard it. But you know what to do… just go and listen to the album. If you never have before then you’ve been missing out for a full ten years, and with Maximo Park releasing their sixth studio album ‘Risk To Exist’ later this month it’s the perfect time to be a fan of this incredible band.
For those that aren’t privy to the greatness of Maximo Park, Mojo20 have got you covered. Go see our recent single review for title track to the new album, ‘Risk To Exist’ or even our 2012 review of their fourth record ‘The National Health’.
Not only that but Paul Smith is our cover star for this months Transmission indie night, and we’ll be playing plenty of their classics, so don’t miss that.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)