Mxpx – Plans within Plans


MxPx-PlanMxpx have been able to withstand the music industries often turbulent and often erratic tides. In the twenty year odd existence they have succeeded where other bands have failed. This is in itself a testament of the quality they are able to put out time and time again, so bring around 2012, Mxpx celebrated their 20 year anniversary with a new album, “Plans Within Plans”. There is no sense that they are at the end of their career, it’s just as strong and relevant as albums like “The Way of the Buffalo”. Truth be said, if they were a crappy band, they would not have lasted as long as they have. They are certainly pioneers of the genre.

There are signs of maturity all over this album, and one gets the sense that they are growing up, leaving the teenage punk anthems behind in favour of street level, working class, “I have a job too now”, “got to pay the bills” sound. There is a sense of moving forward. The Song “Aces up”, explodes onto the scene with a galloping relevance and a urgent intensity that says, “we are here, and we can still give it stick”. This is up there with some of their best material. This is quality pop punk. “Screw Loose” is a full throttle street punk blast ushering in the new maturity, and brings back the classic punk rock sound that made punk popular back in the days. Great songs abound, and would be a great sound track to any skateboarding kid, or extreme sports junkie.

Plans within plans shouts, “Pop-punk is very much alive!” They might be 20 years older, but there is still a lot of youth left in them, and that youthful energy is scattered throughout the album. In today’s time it’s important that there are older guys putting quality releases out that are relevant, and are mature works that show that you can be over 30 or more and still put out quality punk without coming across corny and irrelevant. I think Plans within plans succeed in this, where many others have failed. Great songs like “The Times” echo this sentiment. I think over all the album has a positive feel, and thankfully the lyrics are mature and well written. This makes the album a stronger contender in the overcrowded pop punk world, and its delivery is relevant and ‘fresh’ enough to stand out of the crowd. I enjoyed “Nothing Left” and “Inside Out” because of their ‘older’ flavour sound. The Album is not ground breaking, and in the pop punk world it’s not like they are offering anything new, but what they do they do very well, and stands out for that. I don’t think its as good as “The way of the Buffalo”, which is my favourite release from them, it’s more a step sideways, but with a greater level of maturity. “Far Away” and “In The Past” have Stephen Egerton from the awesome Descendents pulling out some of his guitar magic. That in itself makes the whole album worth it to me.

In closing this is their most mature work yet. What fans will like is that it’s still in keeping with that Mxpx sound that we have all gotten use to, only they are a lot more mature and professional with it. I think all and all, they are back on track, after a bit of a train smash in the early 2000’s. I think long standing fans are going to thoroughly salute this album. It’s easy to digest and take in, its mature, yet still fun, some of the lyrics are actually quite thoughtful and insightful. I can hear the guys are comfortable behind their instruments, and important key ingredient to pulling off a great album. In short you get a soundtrack for the working class, an album that is actually very good, and shows a band back in the saddle, and ready to show the world of pop punk that it can swing it out in the ring with the best of them still.

Rating: 9/10

Written by Donovan de Necker

1 “Aces Up”
2 “Screw Loose”
3 “Nothing Left”
4 “The Times”
5 “In the Past”
6 “Best of Times”
7 “Stay On Your Feet”
8 “Lucky Guy”
9 “Far Away”
10 “Cast Down My Heart”
11 “When It Comes to You”
12 “Inside Out”
13 “Nothing’s Gonna Change

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

Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records, April 2012

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]

Weblinks: Facebook / Website Twitter / Myspace

Buy the album here:
 First Paradox 
 Nordic Mission

Video below: Far Away


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