Footloose and Vowel-Free

Bands change, fortunately, and so does the music they make. But that implies opinions must change too. After telling MxPx frontman Mike Herrera's bass tech at this summer's Warped Tour that the band was a pale Green Day imitation, a moment later we were introduced to Herrera himself. Oops! He was a terrific, genuine kind of guy who grew up on similar punk music (Social Distortion, Descendents) as we did. But then, G2B2 (good guy, bad band) abounds in music. However, the next day, when MxPx took the stage, it was clear that Green Day is not the only punk-pop act to improve with age. MxPx's Side One Dummy debut, Panic, dispatches with the gloss that clogged 2003's major-label release, sounding grittier and closer to the pavement. Overall, it's the same ebullient, hook-driven Cali punk that's launched a thousand careers, but in a dozen years, these guys have honed their playing and writing chops enough to emerge as a mature, much more talented act than when they started. The lesson: Don't judge a band entirely on its back catalog.

MxPx performs with Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, Transition, and Whole Wheat Bread on Thursday, July 20, at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $18.50. Call 954-727-0950, or visit


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