Thoughts on Music: The Scene I Grew Up With and Where it is Now

Pop-punk. That’s what this unusual blog is about. I know I often do books and sometimes movies, but I’ve decided to start a new segment for the occasional music that gallops through my world. While “Harder Punk” is what I often grew up on, and while I listen to several genres within and outside of punk, I grew up with “pop-punk” (i.e. Sum-41, Green Day, Blink 182) and on this rare occasion, I wanted to share three new albums that are hitting our world this Spring 2012. For old time’s sake.

“Thoughts on Music” will be a segment I try to do once a month from now on.

MXPX:

After 7 years of mediocrity, and way too many cover albums, compilation albums, and needless DVDs, their ninth (9th) studio album marks the bands 26th, yes, twenty-sixth! release (EPs and Best Ofs and Live albums included) in 18 years. This one, honestly, is a return to some 90s sound while keeping some early 2000s energy. If you didn’t like “Before Everything & After” (2003) or “Secret Wepon” (2007) but you did like “Panic” (2005) or “Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo” (1998) — this newest release, “Plans Within Plans” is for you.

Yes, I had given up on them years ago too, but I listened and I was surprised. It has the energy of the live album “At The Show” (1999) and is thankfully nothing like the side projects Mike has been wasting time with for years (i.e. “Tumbledown”).

Enjoy.

I’ve ordered this MXPX CD after hesitation, as well as Pennywise’s new “All or Nothing”. Two old school bands I grew up with that, surprisingly, brought the goods. Even with their new lead vocalist (the original and long-standing beloved now gone) this band still captures me in someway, AND has done some slightly different stuff with aggression and song design. Again, I’m surprised. I guess I’ve been being cynical.

But stay away from Anti-Flag’s “The General Strike.” I’m tired of history lessons and bass runs. I’m too old for that shit. While once in love with them, I’m 99% sure that love is for the majority of their 2000s catalog only where they became better as musicians than the 90s and put out the cacthiest stuff. I’m a sucker for a sing-a-long. Fuck off. These days, it’s just a 30-minute preach on compact disc. And the lyric booklets are like little textbooks — homework packed with linear notes about legislation from your favorite punk band. That would be fine if they left it just in the booklets or online, but a third of their sets are talking, talking, talking. I’ve seen them three times. I know what I’m talking about.

MH

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