When this U.K. neo-post-punk band burst onto the scene with 2005’s A Certain Trigger, the band’s workmanlike spirit—not to mention its Fall- and Wire-esque songwriting—was quickly embraced on both sides of the Atlantic. The band’s presence on Warp—certainly worth some cred points—was always unusual, but with the release of Maximo Park’s third album, Quicken the Heart, it has become downright confusing. The Newcastle lads have all but abandoned their post-punk inklings in favor of tepid, would-be stadium rock colored by synth flourishes and paint-by-numbers pop melodies. Perhaps this is a clever play to win the hearts of folks who find Franz Ferdinand a little too edgy, but this is a major creative step backwards.