Sunday Suggestion – Maximo Park – The National Health

Rewind two years and Maximo Park were a well established band in the UK and Europe and of course, hugely respected in their native North East. They formed as students at Newcastle University and lead singer, Paul Smith is a man of Teesside too. Two of these things are applicable to me, but beyond any skewed loyalty I might have, they have deserved every piece of credit they have received. Whether it was their fully charged 21st century indie anthems, their reflective ballads or their political protests and commentaries. It’s the later that currently appeals to me. Their fourth studio album of 2012 was entitled The National Health after all and the title track spoke volumes of the frustrations of the day. Musically, it’s a song of rapidity and urgency with the flashing leading rhythms, staccato piano melodies and the highly charged whirr of the lead guitar atop of it all. Smith’s delivery is as urgent and evokes the frustration of the lyrics he delivers about the struggles of riding the local trains, lost identities and ignorant councils. The title of the track is a sharp play on words itself. Whether it’s the dismantling of the National Health Service or the general poor state of the National in general., it relates to both.

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