Having been around for 13 years, releasing six full length albums and a slew of EPs and vinyls, not to mention that they've changed record labels three times, you'd think MxPx would be reaching their end as a band. One listen to their new project Panic tells the listener that they are far from calling it quits as they keep their style diverse and unique in today's world of pop/punk. A recent article from punkradiocast.com mentions the album as "MxPx forging into the future with a second wind and a newfound maturity." Despite its title, this album gives no need for the fan to worry or 'panic' about how well the album sounds overall.
Kicking off the LP is "The Darkest Places," which is about 'shining a light in the darkest places,' which may be almost hard to tell whether or not that shining Light is God. Some may be surprised as a few of the songs are a little darker than what the band is used to singing, such as "Emotional Anarchist," "Get Me Out" (which features Mike belting out screams on the chorus), and "Kicking and Screaming." However, fans of old school MxPx may bear a grin when they hear the arrangement of "Kicking and Screaming." The diversity on this project continues to grow as "Grey Skies Turn Blue" brings forth an electronica rock feel on its intro. Other tracks such as "Call In Sick" include fun, peppy lyrics that are reminiscent of past favorites like "Move to Bremerton" and "Chick Magnet." Unfortunately, there is very little spiritual content to be found here and leaves the listener attempting to listen to the album several times in search of lyrics that give mention or praise to God.
However, all is not lost as the majority of the songs are about putting hope in tomorrow, getting over broken relationships, and pressing on to live a better life (which usually are relative to the Christian lifestyle as well).
Though not their strongest effort, MxPx never lacks in giving their fans an album worth spending their allowance on. Credit should be given its due to bands like Slick Shoes and MxPx whom keep a strong faith in the Creator amongst a crowd of followers who prefer bands like Green Day, Bad Religion, and Blink 182. As far as originality in punk rock goes, despite the fact that MxPx sometimes attempts to sound like today's popular bands, their style will always be incomparable and a long standing favorite of punk rockers for many more years to come.- Review date: 6/4/05, written by Paul Portell
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