On November 13th I went to Tramps in New York to see one of my favorite bands, MxPx. MxPx is a Christian pop-punk band. Pop punk basically means happy punk. The band members, are Mike Herrera who plays bass and sings, Tom Wisniewski who plays guitar and Yuri Ruley plays drums. They played about 10 songs, all of which I knew.
Some of their songs have to do with society problems through the eyes of a teenager. At the show, the first song they played was one of my favorite’s, “Teenage Politics”. Some of the lyrics to this song are, “No I’m not mad but I think they forget what it’s like and how hard it is to be a teenager. This is a new day and age, we read a different book where Elvis ain’t the rage and polyester ain’t the look.” “…Is it time again to disagree about anything, everything and what’s on TV it’s a vicious circle, never ending a linear equation worldly extending. No, I’ll never be like you; I’ll never be like you. Oh no! I’m just like you!”
The second song they played was “I’m the Bad Guy”. The first couple lines of state, “Legalistic people suck. Legalism makes me sick.” Even though they openly bust on legalism, they also know the world has nothing to offer them but hurt and pain, while God is the only answer.
Since they are a Christian punk band, of course they have to play religious songs. One really good song that they played there was “False Fiction”. This song basically means that the world is going through such turmoil because we don’t have Christ in our lives. “They guarantee our freedom but freedom isn’t real unless you know Christ you wont know how I feel. Inflections of the way things were supposed to be the mental disorder of our society…maybe this world had stopped thinking maybe all their minds are shrinking you failed system is including chaos, it’s chaos, it’s your loss.”
In “Like sand through the hourglass…so are the days of our lives,” they say, “My world is breaking down around me. I see my destroyed world in front of me. Any and everything I trusted, I weep for my world disgusted. Will I look to you? Jesus, yes I do!”
Not only did they play songs about Christ and society, they also played songs about love. The fifth song they sang was “Do you feet hurt”. This song is about love and reading poems to his girlfriend through her window. A few of the lyrics are, “Can I see you after you get out of school? I won’t even mind it, if you treat me cruel. Take a ride on my Vespa, I’ll take you home. I’ll climb up to your window and read you a poem.”
Finally, the sixth song they played was “Andrea”. I really can’t say much about this song. It’s just a fast paced love song. My favorite lyrics of the song are “Andrea, I say your name and all that I can do is think about the way you smiled and kinda sorta held my hand. Went out for coffee in what must have been the smallest town in Kentucky. Andrea, we walked together down dirt road by the bridge then we sat by each other and talked about a few things. You looked at me I looked at you before you know it’s time to go.”
All of their songs are very fast paced. They all have heavy drumbeats. In fact, all punk bands have this certain kind of quick and repeated drumbeat. That’s how you can tell if they are punk or not. MxPx also has a very distinct bass line. In the song “Andrea” besides the lyrics their bass line is remarkable.
There is a heaping helping of songs about everyday young male concerns. Such as, unrequited love, quitting jobs, giving girls rides home on your vespa. Yet they still have mature lyrics dealing with issues like leading a moral life in an increasingly disillusioning world, defending your personal integrity or railing against the unfeeling capitalist motives of people trying to manipulate you.