The fantastic “Wraithlike” opens Maxïmo Park’s third album with a burst of energy that feels like Roxy Music infused with the high-spirited pop-punk of Supergrass—the track is one of the Maxïmo Park's strongest. Quicken the Heart producer Nick Launay (whose impressive career spans the decades, from PiL and The Slits to Grinderman and Yeah Yeah Yeahs) brings just the right amount of edge to the band's sound. Where its previous release, Our Earthly Pleasures, aimed for shinier pop tones, here the band digs down for a darker, slightly grittier feel. The rubbery bass and menacing vibe of “The Penultimate Clinch” is as memorable as the best of The Stranglers, and even the single “The Kids Are Sick Again” has a certain darkness, with grating guitars and oscillating keys pumping up Smith’s lyrics about suburban boredom. From the delightfully sharp guitars on tracks like “Calm” and “In Another World” to the sentimental and romantic “Questing Not Coasting” (“I need to connect to you now!” Smith wails), Quicken the Heart is a real pleaser, harking back to the earliest sounds of this great English band.