# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Mxpx - Panic

  by Alex Halls

published: 24 / 6 / 2005

Mxpx - Panic
Label: Side One Dummy Records
Format: CD


Distinct return-to-form on ninth album from American Christian punk MxPx, which recreates some of the magic last seen on their 1996 classic 'Life in General'

MxPx are back: its official! It’s about time the American Christian band recreated some of the magic seen on the 1996 record, 'Life in General'. Now with a slightly harder touch to much of the guitaring but with all that catchiness that was endemic in American punk in the mid-to-late 90's, 'Panic', on Side One Dummy Records, is a definite return to form. Recorded at the band’s own studios in Bremerton, Washington State, the fourteen tracks see Mike Herrera (vocals, bass); Tom Wisniewski (guitar); and Yuri Ruley (drums), return healthily for their ninth album and the first on their new label. MxPx used to string songs onto an album seamlessly, one of the reasons the band was quick in making a name for itself. 'Let It Happen' (1998) and 'The Ever Passing Moment' (2000) broke that rule and 'Before Everything and After' (2003) could have signalled the nail in the coffin for the band. It is fortunate that 'Panic' appears to have restored confidence in the trio even if it partially unthreads part way through. There are few fillers to be seen on 'Panic', although 'Kicking and Screaming', standing at track eight, marks a general decline in quality on the album, until the final two tracks finish in MxPx’s usual style: mesmeric and aerated. 'Heard that Sound', the first single from the album, and 'The Darkest Places' stand out on the album, offering the best of MxPx and tracks whose melodies stick in your head and are welcome to do so. They develop that vintage MxPx sound and help the start of the album dominate the rest. Panic then turns to the fantastic punk ballad of 'Wrecking Hotel Rooms' which complements the spirited opening as a simple but effective tune. It changes the mood of the album momentarily, finding itself well-placed at this early stage, even if the temptation would have been to conclude 'Panic' with it. The song includes guest vocals from Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus, who was also the co-writer for the song and one can easily recognise the impact he has had on its creation as well as in its performance. 'Get Me Out' represents more of an anarchic punk feel to MxPx, one that is surprising given the band’s original sound and, yet, feels right given its current, more adapted, style. Aside from the music, the lyrical message is stronger than ever on an MxPx album. 'Panic' observes the world’s move to decline, in 'Waiting for the World to End', which, although experienced personally, makes a subtle point that the problem is universal. Although the record does touch on depressing topics it also covers hope, present in 'Grey Skies Turn Blue', altogether giving a feeling that 'Panic' is complete. It is a bonus to see MxPx finally relighting the punk scene with 'Panic'. They have missed out on much of the success that Blink 182 and other bands have had over the past seven years, even if support for them has rarely vanished. They may well have finally got it right, even if a little late. Despite the odd flaws this album has it is truly reminiscent of 'Life in General', albeit grown up, and finally brings this popular band back into the spotlight, for positive reasons. Side One Dummy may have taken a risk signing MxPx but, for now, it has certainly paid off.

Track Listing:-
1 The Darkest Places
2 Young and Depressed
3 Heard That Sound
4 Cold Streets
5 The Story
6 Wrecking Hotel Rooms
7 Late Again
8 Kicking and Screaming
9 Grey Skies Turn Blue
10 Emotional Anarchist
11 Call In Sick
12 Get Me Out
13 Waiting for the World To End
14 This Weekend

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