MxPx are commemorating seventeen years of punk reign with 80s covers on their latest release, “On The Cover II.” Fifteen years after their first 1995 covers album, On The Cover, the new follow-up will be released March 24 through Tooth & Nail Records.
The album has been gaining momentum with every fan that has continuously asked, demanded, and pleaded for another covers album from MxPx following the success of the first one. On The Cover II was finally delivered to the fans after it was recorded at bassist and vocalist Mike Herrera’s Monkey Trench studios. It buoys with the energy, fevered pacing, and melodic sensibilities that MxPx have built their rock solid reputation upon since forming in 1992. Some of the album renditions include the Dead Milkmen‘s “Punk Rock Girl,” U2‘s “I Will Follow,” Descendents‘ “Suburban Home,” The Go-Gos‘ “Vacation,” The Proclaimers‘ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and The Clash‘s “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”
The Clash track was a choice that drummer Yuri Ruley called a “‘no-brainer.’ Tom [Wisniewski], our guitar player, sings this one, which is fitting because he’s our Mick Jones.” Wisniewski, the resident Clash fanatic, has never previously sang lead vocal on any MxPx recordings, but says, “We have played this for years with me singing lead vocals and it was one of the first songs that we knew we had to put on our new cover record!”
The trio also chose more unusual songs to cover. For example, “Linda Linda,” while perhaps unfamiliar to Americans, is actually a treat for the band’s Japanese fans; The Blue Hearts are one of the most legendary punk bands in Japan. The song was originally intended to be released in Japan only, but the band loved it enough to not only include it on the US release, but to also record the song in Japanese for the Japanese edition.
The other surprise track, Queen‘s “Somebody to Love,” is enhanced with feature guests Bryce Avery of The Rocket Summer and Ethan Luck of Relient K, plus the little technicality of the song being released in 1976. Despite its appearance on Queen’s 1981 Greatest Hits, that still makes the track the only non-80s cover on the album.
Other, more expected selections don’t disappoint with straight-up versions. The band was not afraid to experiment with other classics like U2‘s “I Will Follow,” adding a breakdown to the bridge to make sure their stamp was on it.
And who can overlook MxPx‘s choice of guests – performers like Avery, as well as Chiodos‘ Craig Owens, represent the immense influence MxPx has had over the new generation of punk rock musicians. In some cases, right down to their beginnings: Owens and Chiodos bassist Matt Goddard formed their band after Owens saw the latter wearing an MxPx shirt in class and was compelled to talk to him.
The fans and budding musicians who look up to MxPx can expect even more this upcoming year. The band will be unveiling new recordings and are planning a special surprise this fall, all of which will be announced on their MySpace and website soon!
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