Before Everything & After
Pop punks MxPx ready themselves for their big break, following four years of preaching to the converted (Christian pop punks and skaters, that is), and they’re apparently willing to do just about anything to make it. On Before Everything & After, all traces of punk rock roots have been wiped away, and all edges are polished off. Not necessarily a bad thing in itself, hadn’t it been for the rather weak songs they’ve come up with this time around.
Apart from a couple of pretty effective rockers (“Well Adjusted,” say, and “Brokenhearted”), this is mainly a collection of anemic stadium rock played by generic boyband punks. The sound is all too tidy, and every trace of personality has been brushed off by what’s surely very nice and expensive studio equipment. Bon Jovi does this thing better, and MxPx sound a lot more like Britney than Green Day on here — I swear to God. Only that, since MxPx can’t afford Britney’s professional songwriters, they’ve had to come up with those second-rate pop songs themselves, which somehow makes it all the more sad. It’s not that this album is so extremely terrible, but it’s endlessly soulless and dreary stuff; corporate music for people who don’t really care. So, why bother with it?
A&M Records: http://www.amrecords.com/