Plans Within Plans

Written by: PP on 18/03/2012 23:12:15

If there's one band that best personifies the mid-to-late 90s punk rock movement (other than No Use For A Name), it's Mxpx. The Mike Herrera-fronted outfit has been releasing studio albums since 1994, always staying true to their high-octane, infectiously catchy hybrid of pop punk and skate punk, one that has inspired countless modern pop punk bands from the more polished side of the genre. Usually, they churn out albums once every couple of years or so, but for their ninth studio album "Plans Within Plans" fans have had to wait five long years due to some member fluctuation behind the scenes. Drummer Yuri Ruley and guitarist Tom Wisniewski have begun careers, which has severely hindered their ability to contribute to Mxpx on a regular basis, so finding the time to record and produce a new record took a little bit longer than expected.

Longtime fans of the band need not to worry, though. Primary songwriter Mike Herrera has put together a group of songs on "Plans Within Plans" that rival the band's best material from the late 90s - the infamous "Life In General", "Slowly Going The Way Of The Buffalo" and "The Ever Passing Moment" era.

"Aces" opens the record with a classic Mxpx pop punk sound that leans on the quintessential 90s style melodicore expression, leaning strongly on similar melodies as those championed by No Use For A Name and Lagwagon during their best eras. "Nothing Left" falls in the same category, except here one's tempted to argue that this is classic material right here, certainly one of the best melodies Mxpx has written at least since 2005's "Panic", perhaps even longer than that. It's one of those easily accessible, irresistible pop punk melodies that shows why a high tempo, a melodic riff, and a harmonious vocal melody is all you need to write a great song.

"Plans Within Plans" is arguably the best collection of such songs from Mxpx since "The Ever Passing Moment". It's also varied: besides the summery pop punk tracks, the band has thrown in some more hardcore oriented tracks like "Screw Loose" with far rougher vocals than we're used to hearing from the band. There are also songs which are almost balladic in their nature. Predictably, these are also the least interesting tracks on the record; Mxpx has always been at their best when they floor the pedal and spice the songs with small guitar solos, while concentrating almost exclusively on great choruses. It's a simple formula, but it's one that has carried Mxpx for 18 years now, so there's no reason to stray away from what already works.


Download: Aces, Nothing Left, Lucky Guy,
For the fans of: No Use For A Name, Lagwagon, Screeching Weasel
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.04.2012
Flix Records

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