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MxPx - On the Cover II Album Cover

MxPx - On the Cover II

Reviewed by
7.5
MxPx - On the Cover II
Release Date: March 24, 2009
Record Label: Tooth & Nail
Getting older stinks. It's not all about bad backs, gray hairs, uncontrollable flatulence and late-night battles with phlegm. The bands you grew up on start sounding different, too. That isn't to say the material you adored as a younger, more resilient, wide-eyed teen has gathered dust and gotten stale. You just yearn for more when hearing the new stuff. MxPx will forever remain the Godfathers of Pop-Punk, even if you want to give that honor to the Descendents. Why? Simple -- they took it to mainstream levels that caught the attention of more than just punk rock kids, but pop and rock fans alike.

Now, after nearly 20 years of making music together, the band has taken a cue from fellow pioneers New Found Glory and released a slightly tongue-in-cheek cover album sequel, On the Cover II. Essentially, they've gone the exact same route New Found Glory went in 2007, releasing a full-length sequel to a previous EP, consisting solely of covers, chockful of guest stars and polished with a pop sheen. MxPx ditched the movie theme song idea and looked into the 1980's (for the most part), delivering a disc that is hardly anything special, but will fill the gap between more new, original material for all the die-hards.

Starting off with a cover of the humor-based punk band Dead Milkmen's only worthwhile song, the band swiftly moves into a solid rendition of early U2 classic, "I Will Follow." Gravitating more towards their own style of pop-punk, the band follows with a Descendents song featuring (lo and behold) that band's own guitarist, donating his talents to play his own tune! Lisa Loeb did it with New Found Glory, so it's only fitting Stephen Egerton does the same, right? Marshall Eriksen and Ted Moseby might not be looking to get back into "(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles" either, as vocalist Mike Herrera shifts the melody of the chorus a tad, making it feel oddly familiar, but in a confusing way. Same goes for their disappointing version of the Clash favorite, "Should I Stay or Should I Go" (sung by guitarist Tom Wisniewski), which sounds like a karaoke cover done on Rock Band, and really does not do the original any justice.

To borrow from Dan Patrick, their cover of Queen's "Somebody to Love," featuring the Rocket Summer's Bryce Avery handling vocals, is a "swing aaaand a whiff." Not only is it one of the dullest singles Queen ever released, it just lacks that MxPx magic. Had Herrera challenged himself to take the song on completely on his own or had chosen something with a little more rhythm (there are certainly better songs Queen recorded that fit the band's own style), it would have worked. The best tracks are their kitschy 80's picks, like "Vacation" and "Kids in America," both originally done by female artists. As flavorful pop numbers, they're quirky enough to fit the sped-up versions present here -- and they're fun to sing along with to boot.

The only other real complaint that one could find here is the lack of familiarity with many of these picks. Longtime fans might recognize many of the tracks here, but younger fans who have yet to discover the heyday of the 1980's will be in the dark (one can only hope it inspires them to give Milo Goes to College or Boy a chance). Other selections are simply head scratchers (Poison's "Fallen Angel"? Ramones' "My Brain..."?), and while the obscure choices can oftentimes be momentarily entertaining, they're usually skippable here.

On the Cover II is not here for comparison to classic MxPx material, such as Life in General or Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo -- but then again, it's not supposed to be; this is a joyride in a pop-punk convertible, simply meant to last us for a few short, but memorable, moments. For now, this sequel is merely filler to quell fan anticipation before another splendid release (knock on wood).

Now, will somebody turn that damn stereo down! I'm trying to get to bed at a decent hour here! Old age... oy vey!

Recommended if You LikeMxPx's On the Cover; New Found Glory's From the Screen to Your Stereo, Part II; Allister's Guilty Pleasures; road trips with NO tapes clogging the deck, only playing ONE DAMN SONG!
Choice Cuts"I Will Follow," "Suburban Home" and "Vacation"


Track Listing1. Punk Rock Girl
2. I Will Follow
3. Suburban Home
4. (I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles
5. My Brain is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)
6. Vacation
7. Heaven is a Place on Earth
8. Kids in America
9. Fallen Angel
10. Should I Stay or Should I Go?
11. Linda Linda
12. Somebody to Love
Band MembersMike Herrera: Vocals and bass
Tom Wisniewski: Guitar and backing vocals
Yuri Riley: Drums

Guests: Matt Hensley (Flogging Molly): Accordion on "Punk Rock Girl"
Agent M (Tsunami Bomb): Vocals on "Heaven is a Place on Earth"
Craig Owens (Chiodos): Vocals on "Fallen Angel"
Stephen Egerton (Descendents): Guitar solo on "Fallen Angel"
Ethan Luck (Relient K): Guitar solo on "Somebody to Love"
Bryce Avary (The Rocket Summer): Vocals/keyboard on "Somebody to Love"


Online VitalsOfficial Site | Official Myspace | Official PureVolume
PurchaseAmazon MP3
This review is a user submitted review from Chris Fallon. You can see all of Chris Fallon's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 61
01:42 AM on 04/01/09
#2
WhoSaidThat?
twitter.com/TiredOfSeth
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Loved the HIMYM line. Hell, the whole review kicked ass. I'm checking this shit out.
02:05 AM on 04/01/09
#3
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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Loved the HIMYM line. Hell, the whole review kicked ass. I'm checking this shit out.
Thanks buddy -- glad you caught my reference haha
02:40 AM on 04/01/09
#4
Nick Le
Yeezy taught me.
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Good review. This is such a fun record, love this band so much.
02:42 AM on 04/01/09
#5
btbam > you
IT'S TIME!
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Why exactly is a Ramones cover by this band considered a "head scratcher"?
02:53 AM on 04/01/09
#6
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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Why exactly is a Ramones cover by this band considered a "head scratcher"?
The song choice is -- not the band. It's just not one of their most recognizable or memorable songs, that's all.
03:00 AM on 04/01/09
#7
btbam > you
IT'S TIME!
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The song choice is -- not the band. It's just not one of their most recognizable or memorable songs, that's all.
I don't know.. I love the original, so I love the song choice. I'm glad they didn't pick one of the most well-known Ramones songs as they did with the Clash. I think it's good for them to show people a side of the Ramones that others might not already be familiar with.
03:08 AM on 04/01/09
#8
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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I don't know.. I love the original, so I love the song choice. I'm glad they didn't pick one of the most well-known Ramones songs as they did with the Clash. I think it's good for them to show people a side of the Ramones that others might not already be familiar with.
Yeah, you make a valid point. I don't particularly care for the song, but that's just me.
06:48 AM on 04/01/09
#9
refgirl23
at least I'm not a UT fan
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HIMYM... now that's exactly how I needed to start my morning. I'm going to turn it on to finish studying my fricking biochemistry.

Good review. Your reviews always amuse me.
07:17 AM on 04/01/09
The Summer Ends
COYS
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Who's dick-ass who put this at all .25s on the user review?
07:33 AM on 04/01/09
hectorial85
Saved The Day
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Word.
I'm keen to check this out, but overall I think i agree with you. Half/half due to song choice.
07:48 AM on 04/01/09
Alex DiVincenzo
www.alexislegend.com
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I was disappointed by this one. The band does fine emulating the verses, but most of these songs had pretty epic chorus, and when the covers get to them, they just seem lackluster. The Ramones cover was the highlight for me.
08:05 AM on 04/01/09
Nap
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I also think "Bonzo" is the best track here, while "Suburban Home" lacks something and is not even good.
08:19 AM on 04/01/09
fsmith84
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Am I the only one that likes the Queen cover?
08:47 AM on 04/01/09
davey666
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Only mxpx fans would consider them as one of the godfathers of pop-punk.

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