Panic review by MxPx

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  • Released: Jun 7, 2005
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 4
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reviewer's score: 4.7 Poor
  • Users' score: 9.2 (20 votes)
MxPx: Panic

Sound — 6
MxPx have been around for the last ten years, playing old school teenage pop-punk and not even giving a hope they would ever do anything worth listening to. They've tried everything -? played every possible style of punk, changed three labels, released 10 full length albums and made an unfathomable amount of touring. The result is here -- their new album Panic is to be the most interesting and hopeful for the band. The band's fans should be really happy about the record ? that's what they've been waiting for for a long time. MxPx finally grew up and presented a much more mature material, then everything they've done before. It took them 13 years though, but that's not the point. The current band's home label is SideOneDummy and they've already released the first single from the album -- "Hear This Sound." Plain clear versus and loud smashing choruses with nice guitar riffs. This album in general has a lot more guitar layers and more faster drumming. There's a portion of evident aggression on the album. "Like Get Me Out" -? not too prolix song with lots of angry screaming "Get me out!" and a heavy breath at the end to intensity the effect. Did he even through the microphone on the floor after he finished singing? The sentimental song of the album is "Wrecking Hotel Rooms" -? a song for a fan, who got lucky enough to spend a night with the musicians. An explanation to all of them. Sweet. "Late Again" reveals the band's American origins -? a crazy cowboy song is the standout on the album. It is supported by a group of guys, named "Bremerton Boys Choir" to create a choir of drunk cowboys in the chorus. The song sounds surprisingly good among typically punk songs. Never thought a country song can sound that punk. The sad thing about that is it seems like the band gave up inventing anything new in punk music. Being carried by the fashion stream in punk world, MxPx left much of it's staleness sound behind and moved to more melodic and pleasant. At the same time Panic sounds like a bunch of songs we've heard before on their previous releases, the same familiar old sound.

Lyrics — 4
It's obvious the guys didn't take it too serious here. Punk never had a serious poetry anyway. Lyrics are simple and honest. Sometimes maybe too honest to reveal what the musicians are really thinking about. What freaked me out was "You're young and depressed/But you're pretty well dressed" in "Young And Depressed." Is "well dressed" the only rhyme to "depressed"? What does "pretty well dressed" have to do here at all? Even though this record, unlike previous ones, has much less songs about lost loves and now they are tolerable even for not-teenage audience, still there's not a single song I'd want to sing. I'd feel embraced, singing "Kicking and screaming I want more/I've done thing you can't ignore." I can't find any meaning in here. The vocals in general are ok ?- clear and distinct in versus and reverbed, with the help of multiplying, in chorus. But the back vocals are primitive in general -? the repeating of the last words sung and in very predictable places. Not that it's too bad, but boring.

Overall Impression — 4
That's the album for those, who don't take music too serious. Being the band's best up-to-date album, it still doesn't impress me much. I mean, I know what punk can sound like (think at least about the last Rise Against album - "Siren Song Of The Counter Culture") and those guys still have so much to achieve. Having listened to Panic a bunch of times, I still haven't a single song stuck in my head. I wouldn't dare to say there're any catchy tunes here. The CD booklet made me wonder -- is that the soundtrack to the next movie about the alien invasion? I realize it's punk and it shouldn't be glittering, but what they put there is just a cheesy collage, which conceivably should scary the shit out of you. Well, yeah, it made me shiver, but for other reasons. With Panic MxPx didn't bring anything new to the punk world ?- the album is good if you don't pay attention to the details, but not worth listening too carefully to, otherwise you risk to spoil the impression. Just another punk record, quite well-done this time though.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dude how old are you? 6? "I'd feel embraced , singing "Kicking and screaming I want more/I've done thing you can't ignore." I can't find any meaning in here." If anything, kicking and screaming is something you still do over toys at Toys at Toys R Us with your mom.
    So, normally I just read these reviews and take away what I can, but I need to respond to the review that the UG team wrote. I believe (and others will probably agree) that this is the worst review I ever read for any album. It is completely unprofessional. I mean, learn how to spell. Anyway, I also want to respond to the criticism in the review. MXPX has been my favorite band since high school (I'm now almost a year out of college). I believe that they put out great music with every release--hands down. However, I will admit that the last few releases have been a little lax for my taste. Before Panic came out, I thought to myself, "Wow, this is going to be MXPX's last real chance for redemption with me." Don't get me wrong, EPM, the Renaissance E.P., and BEAF were all good albums, but they lacked the intensity, emotion, and musical content of former albums such as SGTWOTB (my personal favorite), Life in General, Teenage Politics, etc. They became more mainstream and poppy--the watered down aftermath that especially took massive hits to their former lyrical content. However, getting back to my point, from day 1 of listening to Panic I was hooked (it stayed in my cd player for over a month straight). This album still may not be the most amaizing disk ever released, but it brought MXPX back to a place they seemed to leave a few years ago. This album has material spanning the different sounds they've used since the beginning, and shows a lot of musical maturity. I know that the review seemed to pick at the seams of the lyrics on this album, but your reasoning for calling the lyrics "cheesy" is not backed up at all. MXPX has always been a very great band lyrically (read lyrics from "pokinatcha" and "SGTWOTB"). Mike Herrera pens some of the finest words around, but make no mistake that you need to look into his words for the deeper meaning. You can't just take all the lyrics at face value. I'm not going to lie, though, there are some cheesy lyrics in their library, but at the same time you have to remember that Mike Herrera is a very sentamental writer. This is extremely appealing to those of us who have been around as fans for quite some time. It makes us feel as if we are a part of this band: it's bigger than just music. A lot of us takes these lyrics and feel as though they were written about our own lives. Furthermore, as I touched on earlier, I agree with the UG team that MXPX is not going to change the face of punk rock music with this release. However, they are definately keeping this genre interesting. With every album they change a bit, and become more mature. Some of their songs/albums may flop, but that happens. As a musician myself, I know the importance of reinvention. If you don't change your sound then at some point you're going to lose listener interest and find yourself working a job 9-5 instead of rocking out every night. MXPX has changed and are continuing to change, but they are sticking to the formula that made them a success in the first place, and fans will continue to listen. "Panic" was a huge step for MXPX, and honestly probably what fans have been waiting for for some time. Finally, I just want to say that even though I am a huge fan I still criticize as much as the next person. I can admit it when one of their albums is not a success. However, I do believe that they should be given credit when credit is due, and I believe that it is due with the release of "Panic." P.S. I have listened to and own that Rise Against album ("Siren Song of the Counter Culture) and it's nothing special.
    Awesome album...combines lyrical brilliance with a new sound, much better than that of Before Everything and After, and drawing on the sound of SGTWOB and TEPM.