It may shock some to know that power trio MxPx have been around for 28 years, making them older than Nirvana’s In Utero. The band have 10 albums, and we’d be surprised if they didn’t record at least 10 more, on their own terms, of course.
“Walking Bye” (1994)
MxPx’s debut album, Pokinatcha, was recorded and released before its members could legally procure cigarettes. Featuring 21 tracks, the three teenagers pulled no punches right from the start. “Walking Bye,” track 17 on the record, defines a true deep cut, and it’s quite the gem at just one minute and 48 seconds. The song starts with a drum count from Yuri Ruley, and a thumping bass soon joins the fold with a chaotic rhythm and melodic progression until the angry-as-fuck vocals come on in. And don’t even get us started on the perfect backup vocals in the chorus. Respect.
“Delores (My Girl Hates The IRA)” (1995)
In the age of Spotify and other DSPs, a bonus track has lost much of its luster. Still, this one from Teenage Politics deserves your attention, stat. The track opens at what sounds like the coolest party you weren’t invited to, and about one minute and seven seconds into the soirée, we hear the sound of a guitar courtesy of Tom Wisniewski that could cause even the most apathetic punk to pogo till eternity. At first glance, the song’s title could be a track by the Ramones, but once you listen, it could be no one other than the Bremerton boys.
Yup. Another track with a woman’s name as its title. But the band stepped up their game with this jewel (which is the second shortest song on the album) and the rest of the LP that truly put them on the map: Life In General. One could certainly make the case that this is the very first MxPx release where they found their footing, but one definitely cannot say the same as to why this song isn’t as revered as it should be. It’s time to go!
“The Downfall Of Western Civilization” (1998)
Christian rock and Bad Religion? Truly, this is the downfall of Western civilization! Legendary ex-Bad Religion and current Circle Jerks guitarist Greg Hetson plays a ripping guitar solo on this fantastic track from MxPx’s major-label debut, Slowly Going The Way Of The Buffalo. To this day, the record is still the band’s biggest-selling album despite receiving little to no radio airplay, so spin it now and start with track seven! What did you call yourself? What did you call me?
“Buildings Tumble” (2000)
While every track on the 15-song full-length The Ever Passing Moment could have been a radio single, “Buildings Tumble” certainly stands out from the pack of anthemic Elvis Costello-influenced jams. Waking up may be hard to do when no one loves you, but we’ve yet to hear an unkind word about MxPx or this record. And don’t even get us started on the catchiness and power of the song’s bridge.
“Talk Of The Town” (2001)
On The Renaissance EP, a one-off EP for Fat Mike of NOFX’s Fat Wreck Chords, the band power through nine songs in an extremely quick fashion: It runs for just over 18 minutes, having each song average at two minutes. A crucial component of this EP is that it doesn’t have the gloss of their previous two major-label releases, and “Talk Of The Town” highlights said fact. No religion here, just plenty of rock. No one’s gonna tell the band what to do.
“Quit Your Life” (2003)
As awesome as MxPx are at fast punk rock, the three-piece’s less aggressive songs should get just as much respect. Fans of Mike Herrera’s solo work and his side project Tumbledown aren’t shocked in the slightest about a slow jam featuring his fantastic voice, but a casual MxPx listener may very well be. Their last major-label outing, Before Everything & After, highlights the best of both worlds, and “Quit Your Life” may be their most heartwarming love song.
“Cold Streets” (2005)
The act formerly known as Magnified Plaid returned to the indie world with their first and only SideOneDummy Records release, Panic, and the band were finally played on non-Christian rock radio with the minor hit “Heard That Sound.” But this section isn’t dedicated to “HTS”; it’s about the album’s next track, “Cold Streets,” one of the angrier and harder songs in MxPx’s esteemed catalog. The lead guitar line in the opening sets the tone for an act finally free from the shackles that a major label often provides. Cold streets!
“Best Of Times” (2012)
At a “lengthy” three minutes and 25 seconds, “Best Of Times,” the longest song on Plans Within Plans, packs an extreme nostalgia punch with a more-than-generous side of catchy. Fun fact: This is the first MxPx full-length to be released on the band’s own label, Rock City Recording Company, and their first album of original material in five years. While this record is oft underlooked when discussing the band, the song shouldn’t be by any stretch. Do you remember?
“Let’s Ride” (2018)
MxPx had a very successful Kickstarter campaign for their most recent self-titled album, proving that there was still an extremely large audience who cared a lot about their A-sides, B-sides, deep cuts and unreleased tracks. We’re sure that the support surprised even the band, as 4,030 people pledged financial support in the form of nearly $300,000. So let’s ride! It’s hard to picture MxPx as grown-ups, but this song paints an incredible picture of ’em getting older.