MxPx“Teenage Politics”
Live Sound

Critique#8 – CD #3

Punk rock consists of fast, overdriven guitars, hyperactive vocals and bass lines, and generally only three-chords in every song…at least that is the humorous industry description of the genre. MxPx are no exception to this rule, however. Everything on this cd fits that description to a “T”.

The vocals of Mike Herrera are a little abrasive and confronting in an overpowering way that makes the listener almost want to turn it off. Granted, Punk music’s vocals are meant to be “in-your-face”, but sometimes this cd just gets annoying. There needs to be some kind of effect on the vocals, maybe a little reverb, because it sounds very un-processed and “raw”, even though punk music has vocals like that, but it could still use some “meat on its bones”. Perhaps a phase effect or two wouldn’t hurt and would only help MxPx establish a bit of creativeness within their music.

The drums are not very full, but that is done on purpose in order to keep with the genre specifics. I wish there was more to the drums, but then it ‘supposedly’ wouldn’t be as “catchy” and “punk rawk”. Too “tin-y” sounding and blunt, there needs to be more sustain and decay in these drums. The guitars are a driving force in the music along with the vocals, but it seems that in about 2 or 3 songs the guitars are a little quieter than the vocals. However this may have been done on purpose to promote the “feel” of that particular song. The sound of the guitars are a little muddled and unclear but only because of the distortion on them for the fact that it’s punk rock. I still think that the producers could have gotten the guitars to come through the mix a little better, as there isn’t a whole lot to get messed up anyways due to the lack of quality. J

Overall, the cd is produced mildly well with a good balance most of the way through between the instruments and vocals, however again the vocals can be balanced a little more closer than it is, and the instruments need a little more “umpf” to them. Once this is accomplished, it can be considered a sonically-excellent cd in my books!