MxPx – Before Everything & After – (2003 A&M Records)

Long time fans know where MxPx came from and will tell you this album is different. MxPx has always been melodic punk rawk (or at least since Life in General) but they have taken on “Pop Punk” full on with The Ever Passing Moment and now more than ever on Before Everything and After. If you like memorable songs with catchy melodies that are easy to sing along to, then you’ll love the new direction they have taken on this disc. The cleanness of production and simple song structures allow Mike Herrera’s voice to be showcased which is making his signature sound more evident and likeable (notably on Well Adjusted)

The CD is kicked off with Play it Loud, an anthem about them holding their own in the punk scene that features a guest appearance by the chick band The Halo Friendlies. Well Adjusted is song that sticks in your head and will most likely be featured on future “Best of” albums because it so genuinely MxPx. Other highlights on the disc include Everything Sucks (When You’re Gone) which is something we can all relate to at one time or another, and You Make Me Me which is their shout out to God whom they declare makes them everything they are.

If you love the thrash punk days of Pokinatcha and Teenage Politics you might want to hold out for their next CD.

-Josh Anderson

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