Maximo Park spent a lot of their restless debut beating about the bush – dithering being part of gawky Geordie frontman Paul Smith’s Jarvisesque appeal. “Our Earthly Pleasures”, however, has the welcome swagger of a band flushed with confidence following two garlanded years. Repeated listens – it’s a grower – reveal a number of meatier, surprisingly hard-rocking songs, like “Our Velocity” and “Karaoke Plays”, to which Smith, with a flash of Sparks, applies typically pithy verse.
Lines such as, “You’ve lived your life with your mouth wide open” (from “Girls Who Play Guitars”) and “Did we go too far – is that why your nose is bleeding?” (from “Nosebleed”) show he gets good mileage out of the girls who evade and succumb to his clammy embrace. That his comical desperation dovetails so convincingly with the band’s invigorating, Gil Norton-helmed power-indie is, once more, no small cause for celebration.