MxPx – The Renaissance EP

The Renaissance EP

The shiny polish of MxPx’s journey to the major labels, most noticeable on their last release, The Ever Passing Moment, has been wiped away, at least for now, replaced by the raw punk sound the band had when it first started.

With The Renaissance EP, the Bremerton, Wash. trio (bassist and singer Mike Herrera, drummer Yuri Ruley and guitarist Tom Wisniewski) did everything themselves, from the production to the artwork. And rather than wait for A&M to release their next full-length, the boys released the EP through Fat Wreck Chords, thanks to a friendship they struck up with NOFX’s Fat Mike (who runs the label) during The Warped Tour last summer.

The Renaissance EP isn’t just nine songs. It marks a new beginning, a rebirth of many years to comeā€¦This is our interpretation of what our first three records may have sounded like if we had recorded the songs at the present time,” Herrera said on the band’s website.

There are some Ever Passing Moment-ish, more pop-punk moments, like “Lonesome Town,” “Party II (Time To Go)” and “The Opposite.” There are also tracks like “Letting Go” and “The Struggle,” which are reminiscent of work from the middle of the band’s career, like 1996’s Life in General. Then, there are songs like “Time Will Tell” and “Talk Of The Town,” which invoke flashbacks of the band’s earliest work, like 1995’s Teenage Politics. To top it all off, there is “Don’t Look Back,” which seems to blend all those styles into one gorgeous, melodic, energetic punk song – the way catchy, thoughtful punk music should be.

All in all, there is a beautiful mix of styles here. The only possible downfall is the fact that the EP is only 18 minutes long, and as a result, it can’t really compare to the band’s best full-lengths. However, it stands as a perfectly executed blending of the trio’s punk roots and their current level of maturity, and it leaves you yearning to find out what they are capable of in the future.