Panic, the latest by MXPX, begins with the recognition of a need—that is, the need to get the word out. In “The Darkest Places,” Mike Herrera rocks out, “ I’m shing the light on the dark places/You know and I know/We have to face this now…” With this declaration, the album steps off into the punk rock world that MXPX has inhabited for ten years and counting.


PANIC

(2005) Music Review


MUSIC REVIEWS INDEX
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This page was created on June 22, 2005
This page was last updated on June 22, 2005

TRACKS -Windows Media

1. Darkest Places Listen
2. Young and Depressed Listen
3. Heard That Sound Listen
4. Cold Streets Listen
5. Story Listen
6. Wrecking Hotel Rooms Listen
7. Late Again Listen
8. Kicking and Screaming Listen
9. Grey Skies Turn Blue Listen
10. Emotional Anarchist Listen
11. Call in Sick Listen
12. Get Me Out Listen
13. Waiting for the World to End Listen
14. This Weekend Listen

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CD Info
Title: Panic
Artist: MXPX

Original Release Date: June 7, 2005
Label: USA Side 1 Dummy


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Review by
JACOB SAHMS

Panic, the latest by MXPX, begins with the recognition of a need—that is, the need to get the word out. In “The Darkest Places,” Mike Herrera rocks out, “ I’m shing the light on the dark places/You know and I know/We have to face this now…” With this declaration, the album steps off into the punk rock world that MXPX has inhabited for ten years and counting.

Advice flows forth from Herrera’s experience in “Young and depressed,” as those listening are urged to seek out the solutions within their situations, to follow their dreams through to the end, and to thrust aside the discontentment that comes from lusting after wealth and wrong relationships. The music is what keeps MXPX going through those depressing times as documented in “Heard that sound,” as they prove that their advice does not come from someone in a glass tower.

In “The story,” Herrera asks for a new head, a new soul, and a new heart, like the lion, the scarecrow, and the tin man, only this time it’s the punk version. “ How will the story end? Where does the time go?” asks the band, “ where’s my voice? Has it lost its way? As if we had a choice/Our character is measured in the words we say.” MXPX is more than just actions, it’s professed words matter too, and the band wants more. Their actions are under further review in “Kicking and screaming,” as Herrera recognizes whats been done wrong, and knows it won’t just go away.

Going to God provides the answer, as MXPX alludes to in “Grey skies turn blue”: “ My mind can’t change my heart/there’s nothing I can do…will you be the way that I remember you?” Faith is more than mental, and our hearts grow cold to what God wants but He doesn’t ever turn away from us. That doesn’t stop us from questioning whether or not we’re worthy of God’s love, because our own insecurity speaks too loudly. “Emotional anarchist” speaks to our self-inflicted wounds but “Get me out” brings the band back to its focus on God: “ I’m feeling around, alone in the dark/Can’t find the switch, all I need is a spark or a match/To find a way out, just a sliver of light/I’ll crawl and dig and I’ll fight and I’ll scratch and I’ll bite.” God provides the way to Himself, all we need is to accept the embrace by our own will.

“Waiting for the world to end” pushes the listener to recognize the importance of the present and not worry for the future. As “ all creation will collide and then begin again,” MXPX provides hope for what the future holds without dwelling on that. We have opportunities, sings MXPX, we have time, we have voice—it’s up to us to use them all. And with fervor, they’ve communicated their message of upheaval and hope, but the finest part remains in their ability to be in the situation with the listener, not just an outside observer with all the answers.

BIOs:

MIKE HERRERA
Hi. My name is Mike. I play bass in a band called MXPX, and I sing too. I grew up in a blue-collar town called Bremerton, WA.   It's a pretty good place to grow up I guess.   I was always the one half Mexican kid in school and I thought I was the only one, until one year my family went on vacation to visit family in Tijuana.   So anyway back to music.  

This guy I knew played guitar in a local punk band and they just happened to practice down the street from my house, just a bike ride away.   So in Jr. High I would show up there after school and climb down the stairs into the dark basement where they had all these amps, drums and guitars.   This was the greatest thing ever and I felt like a small part of it.   I started going to see them play at parties where crowds of older cool kids were skating on ramps and roaming free, just having a great time.   This was the Punk Scene in Kitsap County around 89 or 90.   They started promoting their own shows in community halls and I was equally enthralled to be a part of it.   As I looked at this new world with wide-eyed wonder I knew what I had to do.   I had to start my own punk band.   And I did.  

It didn't happen over night like in the movies.   Like on the A-team when they build some big machine with chemical waste, a barrel of monkeys, and duct tape then lay in wait to defeat the bad guys.   This was me sitting in my bedroom wondering why it was so hard to make my fingers move in weird positions. I started playing bass in early 1991 and guitar about six months later. As soon as I could make a note on the bass, I started writing my own songs.   Most of them had two chords in them and really bad lyrics about all my teenage problems.   I would sit in my sister's bedroom and record into her stereo, then play it back on a boom box. Then re-record the songs playing through the boom box while also singing backing vocals and guitar.   You get the idea right?   I had a cassette tape full of these little songs.   So naturally the next step was to play the songs live in front of real people.   Okay, this isn't a book so I'll just say MXPX was then born... July 6 th , 1992, the rest is history (sort of).     Our first show was terrible; the last show we just played was pretty good.   See you out there.

TOM WISNIESKI
I was born in Dunnoon, Scotland on October 20th 1976 around six in the morning. My dad was in the Navy and that’s why after living in Scotland for six months we moved to Honolulu, Hawaii until I was four and we finally settled down in Bremerton, Washington.

My formative years were probably not too dissimilar from most of yours out there. In the summers I used to travel out east to Cleveland, Ohio to visit my extended family because we were the only ones family wise that lived in Washington.

Around my 13th birthday I started getting really interested in Music. A family friend played drums and the second I saw him bashing away in his room I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life…. Play drums in a band? I took it really seriously. I made a deal with my parents that netted me a great used drum set, I’d have to be in school band for the rest of my school years. I used to sit in my basement playing drums along with Guns N’ Roses’ “Appetite For Destruction”, Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood” and Rush’s “Presto”. It definitely helped having a really loud walkman in those days.


Fastforward a few years to my senior year of high school. I’d been playing in bands for around four years locally and all on drums. My friends in Magnified Plaid were starting to get out of town a bit and play with some cool bands from Seattle. They had a plan to head out on a tour of the U.S. as soon as they graduated Only problem was that their guitarist wasn’t really working out anymore. Mike, Yuri and I were all hanging out one night driving around Silverdale when they told me that they’d probably be getting a new guitarist soon. I naturally assumed it’d be one of our guitarist friends. I asked “Who ya gonna get?” Imagine my shock when they replied “You’ve got a guitar don’t ya?” Sure I played guitar a bit but just for fun and because everyone else I hung out with did too. Naturally I wanted to do it, This was a band with an apparent future.

After all that it started to get really interesting… Tours around the U.S. and the entire world, Recording with some very talented people, Shows where people actually knew who we were, All the fun times associated with jumping in a van with your best friends and going on a ten year road trip. You can’t imagine the feeling of traveling the world and playing music as a profession. As in anything there are always ups and downs but this is the greatest thing I could think to do with myself. There are too many stories for this bio but suffice to say if I died tomorrow I’ve had a great life.

YURI RULEY
Hi, My name is Yuri Zane Ruley. It’s a weird one I know. I’m actually named after a childhood friend of my fathers. He was Amish…?… Whatever…My mother picked Zane as my middle name because it sounded good with “Yuri”...yeah…sooo… I was born and raised in the Seattle area but my family moved a lot. I’ve lived in Alabama, Oklahoma, Idaho, and all over Washington. And now for the stuff you probably care about. I started playing drums when I was in ninth grade and my first performance was in the ninth grade talent show with my first band, “The Skinny Little White Boys”. We sucked and we only lasted two months. Thankfully I met a couple of guys named Mike and Andy who were looking for a drummer. They came over to my house, we played some songs together and the rest is as they say, history. 

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