Maxïmo Park

Newcastle's angular pop quintet Maxïmo Park consists of singer Paul Smith, guitarist Duncan Lloyd, bassist Archie Tiku, keyboardist Lukas Wooller, and drummer Tom English. Like their friends and neighbors the Futureheads, and Field Music, Maxïmo Park craft smart, sharply catchy songs inspired by post-punk and new wave legends like the Jam, XTC, Wire, and the Smiths. Lloyd, Tiku, Wooller, and English formed the band as an avant-rock, largely instrumental group, taking their name from a meeting place in Cuba for Communists. Smith had previously played with the band Me and the Twins and was recommended as the band's new singer by English's girlfriend, who heard him singing Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious" at a karaoke night. Maxïmo Park issued their debut 7", The Coast Is Always Changing/The Night I Lost My Head, in 2004; it caught the ears of Warp Records, which despite being a mostly electronic label signed them and released their second single, "Apply Some Pressure," early in 2005. It made the Top 20 in the U.K.'s national charts. At that time, Warp also released the Apply Some Pressure EP, which featured tracks from both of the band's singles, in the U.S.