There are a lot of bands that people listen to, then forget about. Then there are bands that can be labeled as a favorite, and people follow them throughout any career shift. One of the bands that I can always go back to is none other than Mxpx. The band introduced their frenetic punk rock tunes to the world around the same time that Greenday was making a lot of noise in the east bay. While Billie Joe and his friends ended up getting a huge score in terms of financial support, and mainstream success, bands like Mxpx were getting a push into a different market, albeit to moderate success.
“Life in General” is the third record from the band out of Bremerton, Washington. The trio throws down a mix of pop and punk that is sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but always catchy and from the heart. Think Blink 182 “Dude Ranch” meets Lagwagon’s “Hoss”. With 43 minutes of punk rock gusto, this record holds up so well because of more than just a nostalgic pull. The band has a lot of credentials for being punk, whether you want to admit or you want to argue, but I can denote that the band’s gone through a lot of shifting moments, including a brush with the mainstream on “The Ever Passing Moment”, which yielded a Pepsi commercial as well.
But what about me? Why am I talking about this record, and not talking about some bigger act? Because this is my blog, and you can sit down. Mxpx “Life in General” holds up so well that the first track will immediately get stuck in your head. This record has angst, it has beauty, it has moments that remind you of high school, and truly is like the title of the record states, a general look at life, love, heartache, longing, and much more.
Of all the bands that I have seen in my life, only one band I have seen in multiple states, and have flown across the country for, and that band is Mxpx. I have seen them play as headliners, at record release parties, with Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, at festivals, and in small clubs. I even yelled out, “Teenage Politics” at a show in Seattle, in which Tom asked if I wanted the band to break up, and that was a cool moment and name drop, for certain. I even lived in Seattle, and saw Mxpx three times while I was there.
I’m not sure if anyone still even buys music, which is why I’m not even sure why I’m choosing to write about this, but I can tell you this much, when 1996 came around and Mxpx dropped “life in general”, I was all in, and in 2019, I’m still all in.
Mxpx “Life in General” is available for download here, and other places, because music is not hard to find today. Right? Anyways, my favorite tracks on this one include Middlename, Move To Bremerton, Chick Magnet, Andrea, Doing Time, Destroyed By You, and Southbound, all of which I’ve seen played live, and it’s thrilling to see the band knock out these live.