MxPx Before Everything and After

With their latest release, MxPx have proven they know exactly how to sound like MxPx. With 16 tracks of slickly-produced pop punk on this, the band’s third major label album, there is little doubt that long-time fans will be satisfied with the sound and feel that have been MxPx’s trademark for the past ten years. On tracks like the bouncing "Everything Sucks (When You’re Gone),” the band proves why they have remained teen favourites for so long. The song deals with the pain of being away from a loved one, but not too far away, and without too much pain. The key to the band’s sound has always been that — a balance between complaining and complacency, youthful exuberance and responsible behaviour, which allows them to connect so perfectly with their target audience. The one track that rises above the typical pop punk din here is the Beatles’ "Yesterday” meets Blink 182 number "Quit Your Life.” Featuring lush orchestration and some spectacular harmonies, this is the only song on the record that seems to branch out and attempt to do something different. For the most part, however, Before Everything and After sounds just like everything that came before it. (Universal)