MxPx – “Acoustic Collection”


MxPx ACCOUSTICI think overall fans of MxPx will love the album. They have survived for a long time and have grown into an iconic punk rock machine over the years. I think very few individuals who have never had their hands in the punk scene will not know who MxPx are. They have developed a large fan base over the years, which should automatically secure sales of the album regardless.

“MXPX has sold over 2.5 million records worldwide, staying true to both themselves and their sound, while remaining one of pop-punk’s most well-respected names for over two decades” – MxPx Official Website .

Apparently after years of requests the band finally has released an acoustic album that was released for their 22nd anniversary as a band. Produced by Mike Herrera; a punk icon himself outside of the bands own iconic foot print, we see an album that covers the span of the bands existence with many of the hit songs that MxPx fans grew up with. It was recorded at Mike’s own studio with the help of  Stephen Egerton, guitarist of Descendents and All. Also Emily Whitehurst of Survival Guide lent her talent on the album, guest vocal-ing on three tracks, “Tomorrow Is Another Day,” “Secret Weapon” and “Buildings Tumble.”

Like I said there are many fan favourite tracks on the release. For myself songs like, “Tomorrow Is Another Day”, “Secret Weapon” and “Punk Rawk Show” have always been favourites of mine.

Yes there has been a growing trend of punk bands releasing acoustic albums, and a lot of them tend to sound the same in that they are purely acoustic renditions of the original songs. This can become a little boring or monotonous if you looking for something different out of the album. Often some songs just don’t work as straight conversions to acoustic, as the song was never birthed as an acoustic, or the musician never took that to mind when creating the song. So sometimes you need to change and alter things a bit to make it work, in order for it to be successful.

Now MxPx score big with me here because some of them have specifically been rearranged for the release giving many of the songs a fresh overhaul and perspective, creating a different feel in comparison to the original. You can hear that they have gone the extra mile to give their fans something to really enjoy. This does not reek of “oh lets put an acoustic album out, willy snap dilly”, its resonates with intent, and they have not over-produced the album either in that, keeping the focus on the songs, so as to allow the fans to grab hold of some of that raw energy of the songs.

“Acoustic Collection” is a 12 song career tale of one of the greatest punk rock bands. It’s a solid repertoire of some of the bands greatest moments and achievements over the last 22 years of their existence as a band.

You’ll discover that some of the songs have been stripped down to just Mike and his guitar, while others include a full band, either way it’s a solid set of songs taken from an amazing career standing in the music industry.

With “Secret Weapon” album having the most songs represented, one of the finest moments on the album is the acoustic rendition of, “You’re On Fire”. What they did here is they have slowed down the song into a gentle acoustic piece that perfumes the senses with great beauty.

MxPx have always maintained a loyal fan base, and this loyalty can be found in both the secular and Christian music scene. I have to say they have managed over the years to bridge the divide between secular and Christian music quite convincingly. They also are a band that has had the remarkable fortune of seemingly been able to please the fans almost every time no matter what. How many bands can hang that accolade on the wall?

In short MxPx have given what the fans have asked for without sacrificing quality or appeal. In fact this is one of the best acoustic albums from a punk band that I have heard in a long time. Not all the songs are a riot, “Hell yeah!!!”, but what this album does is that it gives one the feel that each of the songs were either written for or on an acoustic. The album also does not come across as a punk acoustic album and thus again stands as a strong broadcast to me at least of the bands ability to create fine songs that are able to stand on their own regardless of the format they are written to or for.

I think secretly many folk have a favourite MxPx song. Certainly with a career that spans 22 years, it’s more likely than not. The fans are going to love this and this album will bring back memories to many who grew up listening to the band those many years back, and to be honest it has the potential to be a firm favourite amongst the bands long list of album releases. While those whom might be introduced for the first time to the band, might find themselves swept up into the wave that is MxPx which has for the last 22years been going strong. It has the potential to be a firm favourite amongst the bands long list of album releases.

Rating: 8/10

Written by Donovan de Necker

Track Listing:
1. Doing Time (Life in General; 1996)
2. Tomorrow Is Another Day (Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo; 1998)
3. You’re On Fire (Secret Weapon; 2007)
4. Let It Happen (Let It Happen B-sides and rarities album; 1998)
5. Never Better Than Now (Secret Weapon; 2007)
6. My Mom Still Cleans My Room (Life in General; 1996)
7. Secret Weapon (Secret Weapon; 2007)
8. Drowning (Secret Weapon; 2007)
9. Buildings Tumble (The Ever Passing Moment; 2000)
10. Aces Up (Plans Within Plans; 2012)
11. For Always (Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo; 1998)
12. Punk Rawk Show (Teenage Politics; 1995)

Band members:
Mike Herrera – lead vocals, bass guitar, keyboards
Tom Wisniewski – lead guitar, backing vocals
Yuri Ruley – drums, percussion

“Pokinatcha” [1994]
“Teenage Politics” [1995]
“Life in General” [1996]
“Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo” [1998]
“The Ever Passing Moment” [2000]
“Before Everything & After” [2003]
“Panic” [2005]
“Secret Weapon” [2007]
“Plans Within Plans” [2012] review

Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records, July 2014

Weblinks: Facebook / Website Twitter / Bandcamp

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission
Metal Helm

Video below ‘Punk Rawk Show’

Video below ‘Secret Weapon’

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