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Album: The National HealthReleased: 2012
This is the title track of British alternative rock band Maximo Park's fourth album. Frontman Paul Smith explained how this song and the rest of the long player relates to the state of society at large: "The nation is out of control," he said, "and the record is about taking back control, and being a force for change in your own life. It can't speak for everybody but it has its eyes and ears all around us. Our songs are built on empathy. I would hope it's as vital a music as people would want to hear."
The song and album title refers to a wider national malady than the state of the NHS. Smith told NME: "The phrase made me think of sticking a thermometer in the country and taking its temperature. Everything we wrote about is under the shadow of the times, and this album is very much linked in to the national mood, this global recession that we're going through. The song goes, 'The daily grind. The moral wealth. The family binds by means of stealth" and those are the things that are on every man's mind. It's about the frustration that builds up with everyday life."
Smith explained the song's meaning to NME: "It's a frentic, melodic, aggressive dissection of the frustrations of ordinary life and needing an outlet for it. The chorus is the outlet, the release. To me, I can hear a bit of Husker Du in there."