Thursday, October 22, 2015
MxPx -- Before Everything & After
I'd like to preface this review with the assertion that I am a huge MxPx fan. My favorite member of the band is Yuri because the other two guys are deceptively tall for their appearance, which kind of creeps me out, but Yuri is the exact height you would think he would be, plus he took a picture with me next to these port-a-potties.
Now onto Before Everything & After. I might be a fan of MxPx, but I think everything should be judged on the basis of what it is, and not who made it. MxPx have made a lot of albums that I enjoy immensely. Before Everything & After is not one of those albums. I loathe Before Everything & After.
MxPx pioneered a more palatable punk rock sound in the 1990's without selling out. They stayed true to this sound, improving upon it with each album. Their fourth album even went gold. Then 9/11 happened, and for some reason, after 9/11, what people really wanted was whiny emo crap. A bunch of bands like Dashboard Confessional, and Good Charlotte, and New Found Glory seemed to pop up from the dregs of nowhere to platinum stardom, featuring whiny, nasally, sappy singers who were like, crying at windows and stuff. Their songs were like punk rock, in that they were simple, except they weren't fast, and the only thing they rebelled against was sounding good, and they were all really, really lame. The high school kids who sent these bands to the top of the charts are the same ones who went to college a few years later and thought Underoath's They're Only Chasing Safety and The Killers were the greatest things ever, and that every damn thing in the world was "amazing," and I hate those kids, though their stupid optimism has blasted them to the top of the economic spectrum, while Generation X has already been relegated to the I thought you guys were all retired, no we're all just unemployed scrapheap. I have had the great luck of falling right in between these two so-called "generations," which means that I hate everything, just kidding, but I really do hate this stupid album, as due to record label pressure to make a hit for 2003, or simple peer pressure, Before Everything & After is one steaming heap of emo. Oh, you don't like run-on sentences, little baby? Well go on and cry, cry, cry! just like this album makes me cry because I hate it.
I hate it because Mike Herrera's usually rough, but enjoyable vocals have been nasalized and compressed all to hell, and his harmonies with Tom Wisniewski have been polished so much that any character or human texture has been completely removed. I hate it because it's just a collection of bad pop songs, and the two token punk songs are okay, and the second one would be powerful and great, except Mike completely derails them because, due to a new facial piercing or something, he sings these lines:
These days so few seem to have fay
In the son of man and in his gray
I feel your hand upon my fay
As you replay my broken wings.
I hate it because near the end of a song that could not get more annoying, "First Day of the Rest of Our Lives," the band modulates! MODULATES! WHAT DECADE IS THIS?! MODULATES?! WHAT GENRE IS THIS!? I hate it because of the stupid emo-kings cameos, like the dude from New Found Glory popping up at the end of an already cheesy song about driving around Hollywood in a convertible just to sing, "dew, dew, dew, dew, dew, dew, dewtie dew," and the dude from Good Charlotte popping up at the end of "On the Outs," just to make fun of Mike Herrera for the fact that Good Charlotte dude's garbage band has sold a bazillion times as many albums as MxPx has, even though MxPx paved the way for them by being a bazillion times more awesome and first, yet MxPx needs the Good Charlotte dude to tag his name to the back of the album just so MxPx can move a few copies. BULLSHIT. I hate this album so much, and I hate it even more because some of it is actually fun to listen to, like the drums on "Well Adjusted" that sound like they cost a million dollars to record (bet you wish you could have that million back, A&M records), or the robot "Quit Your Life" vocals that sound like they are coming from Yuri as he is dressed in 80's sci-fi garb and beckoning toward the camera, or that under every one of these stupid songs is the stamp of a band who is far, far, far better than this.
But I hate Before Everything & After even more because the idiotically ironic hipsters who also *SPOILER* were the emo kids of 2003 now diss MxPx as a stupid band who made stupid music that they, the hipsters, grew out of, but yet the hipsters also say of MxPx's discography that they can enjoy only Before Everything & After because it brings back memories and they can celebrate its badness ironically. SCREW YOU, IDIOTS!!! The punk rock records MxPx released between 1996-2000 are incredibly fun and enjoyable albums that actual people with discernment and good, individual tastes can actually listen to and find non-ironic pleasure in and I HATE YOU GUYS SO, SO, SO, SO MUCH!!!!!!
NO, EVERYTHING JUST SUCKS!
1. Before 0:20
2. Play It Loud 3:18
3. Well Adjusted 3:39
4. It's Alright (featuring Benji Madden of Good Charlotte) 3:01
5. Brokenhearted (featuring Kris Roe of The Ataris) 2:10
6. First Day of the Rest of Our Lives 3:01
7. Everything Sucks (When You're Gone) 2:57
8. Quit Your Life 3:38
9. More Everything 2:50
10. Kings of Hollywood (featuring Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory) 3:41
11. The Capitol 2:50
12. On the Outs (featuring Benji Madden of Good Charlotte) 3:11
13. Don't Walk Away 3:59
14. You Make Me, Me 3:06
15. You're Not Alone (featuring Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory) 3:40
16. After 1:43