Tuesday, April 10, 2012
It’s hard to believe that MxPx has been cranking out their brand of “positive punk” for nearly two decades now. You might have thought they disappeared from the scene because we haven’t heard from them since 2007’s “Secret Weapon”. Furthermore, lead vocalist and bassist Mike Herrera has been busy with side projects like his punk western ensemble, Tumbledown (reviewed here).
But on April 3, MxPx returned with their ninth studio record, “Plans Within Plans”, mixed and mastered by punk rock legend and guitarist for the Descendents, Stephen Egerton (who also throws in a guest guitar spot on several tracks). Reflecting on the time off and the influences on the new record, Herrera states, “We all deal with changes differently. We’ve had to realize over the years that regardless of what those changes are, we’ve managed to remain true to the band and adjust things accordingly.”
“Aces Up” kicks the disc off with thundering, fast-paced drums and equally quick guitar riffs and vocals. This is followed by “Screw Loose”, which features thundering, fast-paced drums and equally quick guitar riffs and vocals. This is followed by “Nothing Left”, which features thundering, fast-paced drums and equally quick guitar riffs and vocals. I think you see the problem here.
But then comes “The Times” – a welcome change of pace that is smartly written with positive lyrics and a memorable hook. “Far Away” is the first single and considered the “flagship song” by the band. It is a trademark MxPx tune about overcoming obstacles and is just bursting with energy. As with most MxPx records, “Plans Within Plans” comes at you hard and fast, leaving you pumped, refreshed, and ready to take on the world. While dancing along the edges of monotony by stacking a lot of songs with the same hyper pace, there are several oases on “Plans” really worth writing home about. Those additional highlights include “Best Of Times” (no, not a Styx cover), “Cast Down My Heart”, and “When It Comes To You”.
MxPx – Official site.