97. ‘Our Velocity’ by Maximo Park (2007)

Look at the earnestness in his face!
Look at the earnestness in his hat!

I find Paul Smith to be one of the more tolerable of indie frontmen, largely due to his frantic enthusiasm on stage, which nicely complements his oh-so-very-earnest face. It’s certainly not because of his hat. He really needs to lose the hat. Unless, of course his bald spot is actually the hellmouth or something.

Our Velocity is one of those everything-but-especially-the-kitchen-sink songs. A crazed feat of ambition that effectively makes the statement: ‘Fuck it! I AM gonna do this! Whatcha gonna do about it?’ It’s a full-throttle, three-act hookfest, which could have comfortably been a Xenomania/Girls Aloud offering if you dialled back the urgent thrash of the guitar and the fierce anguish of Paul Smith’s vocals.  But you really wouldn’t want to do that.

Bonus points: Paul Smith manages to sing in a regional accent without it ever sounding forced or affected, and without every whinging about the leckie bill or referencing daytime TV. Bravo.

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One Response to “97. ‘Our Velocity’ by Maximo Park (2007)”

  1. I never really liked this song when it first came out, truth be told. But after repeated listens, I reaklly began to warm to it. I think it is the line of ‘I’ve got no-one to call, in the middle of the night anymore, I’m just alone, with my thoughts’ that won me over. It struck a chord with my 22 year old self, shortly after being dumped by my 4th girlfriend.

    Maximo Park are a very odd thing, a northern British band which (as you quite rightly pointed out) do not have to rely on references to paying the bills or accentuating their accents. It’s not a surprise that The Arctic Monkeys (who are possibly the guiltiest of all northern indie bands for sacrificing lyrical intelligence for pop culture and kitchen sink melodrama) best song (‘505’) has none of their usual traits and is just a straight up, honest, great song. A lesson to be learned.

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