Review: MxPx – Secret Weapon

MxPx - Secret Weapon

Without MxPx this website would not exist.

I’m not aiming for overdramatics to spice up the opening line of my review, I’m being dead serious. It was MxPx that pulled me out of my junior-high years of Pantera and Metallica. It was MxPx who were (along with Blink 182) one the first bands covered by the original It was MxPx who, upon first listen so many years ago, drew me into the melodic world of fast drumming overlaid with lyrics mostly about (failed) relationships.

Now – almost 12 years later – I’m still listening.

This is a band that has been around for over 10 years and released over seven full-lengths, four EPs, three compilation CDs, and one live album; almost all of these with the same three members. They’ve written songs from each end, and just about every level in-between, of the pop-punk spectrum. Fast and raucous to extremely poppy – they’ve done it. This foray through an assortment of styles has left the band with a blend of fans. Most vocal are those who pledge allegiance to the sound of the band’s roots and have been wishing for a repeat of the Life in General and Slowly Going The Way of the Buffalo era. For me, my favorite song has always been “Doing Time” and my favorite album Slowly Going the Way… – so while I may be in the minority for having enjoyed all of the band’s releases, it’s been a while since I’ve genuinely loved one.

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Review: MxPx – Panic

MxPx - Panic

They’re back. Modern-day punk legends MxPx have released yet another studio full-length after being a band for well over a decade. After their last album received mixed reactions (too poppy, overproduced), MxPx signed up with an indie label (Side One Dummy) and decided to return to their roots. Well, as much as they could. We all remember when MxPx claimed to be returning to their roots the last time – the result was the largely mediocre The Renaissance EP. This time around, it’s different. It’s a nice combination of MxPx circa 1996 and modern day MxPx. Overall, it’s a much faster album than their past 2 studio full-lengths, and for the first time in years (thank God) the production is excellent. While this record is a step in the right direction for the band, it’s far from a perfect record. On every MxPx album, there are one or two songs that are just pure crap, and Panic is no exception, but more on that later. After hearing the first five tracks to Panic, something became apparent – this is the album I wished MxPx had released after Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo. The tempo, the lyrics…everything would have matched up perfectly. Instead, they released the terribly produced The Ever Passing Moment, followed by the super-sappy pop-fest that was Before Everything and After. Mind you, I enjoyed both of these albums, but they were far below what the band was capable of. Keep in mind, MxPx is the reason I listen to music today – Life in General is my favorite album of all time.

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