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Maximo Park

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Maximo Park seem to come from the strong tradition of British social realism, of the kind embodied in Sixties black and white films by the brooding presence of an Alan Bates or Albert Finney, as...

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Maximo Park seem to come from the strong tradition of British social realism, of the kind embodied in Sixties black and white films by the brooding presence of an Alan Bates or Albert Finney, as their frustrated and, always, Northern characters wrestled with an overpowering sense of misanthropy in a world of scant opportunity and snatched furtive sex, usually resulting in unwanted pregnancy and backstreet abortion.

Actually, despite coming from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Maximo Park do not sing about any of these things - except perhaps the furtive sex. And they certainly don't consciously hark back to the past in the sepia tones of, say, the Smiths. But, there at the centre of these tightly-wound songs are biting contemporary takes on familiar feelings of being stuck in a small town and desperately needing to find some energy and sense of relief, just to stay alive.

Maximo Park songs positively vibrate with contained energy, and it is something that more than occasionally spills out. Singer Paul Smith describes the anger behind the songs as a force to drive them forward, ever faster. "It's the same with the live performance," he says. "There is a controlled power that enables you to give the audience something of the feelings you had when you wrote the songs."