MxPx, love them or hate them, they certainly have a following of both Christian and non-Christian fans. Their lyrics, written by bassist/lead vocalist Mike Herrera reflect many inner struggles as well as the hard long path that Christians walk each day. Struggles that non-Christians seem to relate to as well.
However, at a glance you wouldn't know that each band member beleives in Jesus as their Savior. Both of Mike's arms are covered in tattoos, guitarist Tom has his right arm similarily stylized. But if you look deeply into the lyrics you can really relate to where they're coming from. Growing up, being rejected, trying to get God's message through the ignorant minds of the world around us. And yet they never blame others for their mistakes or problems. Some songs deal with anger, but in a far more mature way than some pop/punk bands such as Blink 182.
The music style is aggressive, punk rock that will take a lot of getting used to if you're not a fan of punk music. This was the first punk CD I ever bought and let me tell you it took me a good month or two to fully appreciate the skill and addictively fast rhythm of this disc. As a warning this is a live album and doesn't come with lyrics, so if you want lyrics (which you really need to understand some of the words and songs until you can keep up on your own) you'll have to go online or buy some of their older CD's. Be prepared for a gritty fast sound that will really get you going crazy once you finally learn to appreciate (and keep up with) these guys. It's pure adrenaline.
The third track "Under Lock and Key" is a perfect example of the adrenaline I'm talking about. As with most of the songs it will take time to understand and appreciate but once you do, let me tell you, it will be in your CD player for a long long time. The next song "Chick Magnet" is one of their all time hits and features a rocking catchy tune that will keep you singing "chick magnet... da da da da da chick magnet... da da da da da da" again and again in your head. The fifth track, entitled "G.S.F." (thats "girls schmirls foundation" by the way) is the softest song you'll find on here and is basically a soft ballad about giving up on girls and love, with lyrics such as "She said can't we just be friends, it's just not working out, another broken heart, that i can do without...." Other highlights include "Walking Bye" which is the ultimate punk adrenaline rush, "Invitation to Understanding" a meaningful song about wanting understanding to come, and "Punk Rawk Show" which is yet another adrenaline packed punk song that finishes off the album perfectly.
MxPx has grown to be my favorite band, and I stress the word "grown." It will take time to appreciate this type of music but once done, nothing compares to the uplifting and crazy energy you'll get from this cd. Just listen to the little bass solos in "Under Lock and Key" or in the instrumental "The Theme Fiasco" or the warp-speed drumming in "Walking Bye" and you'll constantly notice more and more little touches that just add to the lasting energy. The only thing that holds this score back from the 5 star score is a lack of openness about their faith. It would be nice not to have to look so deeply to understand what it is Mike is trying to say but I suppose that only adds to the longetivity.- Review date: 9/25/01, written by invin
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