New music reviews: Maximo Park, Bombay Bicycle Club, Augustines

What's on the Evening Times' playlist this week? Here are Stef Lach's latest music reviews...

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Album: Maximo Park - Too Much Information (Daylighting) ****

GEORDIE indie geniuses Maximo Park once said a Barras audience gave them the most enthusiastic response of any crowd they had ever played for.

In the wake of the band's stunning debut album, Glasgow was indeed smitten.

It was as close to a perfect indie album as has been produced in many a year, and the follow-up very nearly matched it.

Since then, they have gone ever so slightly off the boil while still remaining once of Britain's best loved bands.

New album Too Much Information sees Paul Smith and co try something new, most obviously on the superb single Brain Cells.

It's wonky electronic heart allows Smith's vocals to sound ever so haunting. Think Depeche Mode's Violator era and you're somewhere close.

Leave This Island is another in the same vein, and it even mentions "a Scottish hotel" which will guarantee a rowdy singalong in Glasgow.

On Lydia, The Ink will Never Dry the band return to the stripped-down earlier sound of classics such as The Coast Is Always Changing.

The dark edge returns on Is It True?, with Smith's Newcastle accent cutting through the gloom beautifully.

I Recognise The Light brings to mind The Smiths' What Difference Does It Make? while Where We're Going brings the show to a slightly low-key end in a similar way that Acrobat did on the debut album A Certain Trigger.

It's great to have them back and in such good form.

Maximo Park's Too Much Information is our album of the week.

Album: Bombay Bicycle Club - So Long, See You Tomorrow (Island) ****

THINGS starts brightly for London band Bombay Bicycle Club on their fourth album.

A baggy vocal line that could have been sung by Shaun Ryder and the addition of some joyful keyboard sounds adds to the early 1990s vibe of this superb track.

But this group are no sound-a-likes, and they shine best on unmistakably 'Bicycle Club' tracks It's Alright Now and the wonderful Luna.

Blending folk with electro and, surprisingly, baggy, has seen the band reap some incredible results.

Album: Augustines - Augustines (Votiv Music) ****

NEW Yorkers Augustines' second album is a definite progression from their first offering,

Not falling immediately into any specific genre, it's fair to describe them as a rock band with some serious pop credentials.

Cruel City is a gorgeous track, underpinned by some African percussion and voice tricks that make it ripe for a mass chant-along.

Don't You Look Back is more traditionally rock and roll, in the mould of Springsteen at his best.

But our favourite is Now You Are Free, an epic, rousing song with a massive chorus and a simple but memorable verse to carry it through.

Great work from a potentially great band.

If you like the sound of Maximo Park, Bombay Bicycle Club and Augustines, check out Stef Lach's Spotify playlist for this week - a selection of tracks from similar artists to those featured in this week's reviews.

Like Maximo Park? Check out...

World In My Eyes - Depeche Mode

What Difference Does It Make - The Smiths

Like Bombay Bicycle Club? Check out...

Loose Fit - Happy Mondays

Maureen - Young Knives

Like Augustines? Check out...

You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon

Land Of Hope And Dreams - Bruce Springsteen

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