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.the maturity that fans have long awaited.
Panic is the perfect title for this album. The band has talked a lot lately about how they realized they were going to fade away if they weren't careful and the album title is a reflection of that feeling. For me it meant the feeling that swelled inside me when I knew I'd have to review this album. Like many others my age, I have sentimental attachments to Pokinatcha and Teenage Politics but, and let's all be honest, since I'm not a teenager anymore the lyrics don't hold up at all. In fact, I laugh a little when I hear them these days. Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo gave me a lot of hope but they would be dashed again and again over the last decade with each new record. Before Everything and After nearly made me depressed because of how stuck these guys were. So for those of you who felt as I have for the last ten years, breathe deep because this is the MxPx you have been waiting for. It's fresh, it's new, and the lyrics aren't childish. Panic delivers the mature MxPx on a silver platter via new label home, SideOneDummy.
Panic is perhaps most interesting due to the fact that its both the darkest record the band has ever made and the most hopeful. Songs like the old school pop-punk of "Emotional Anarchist," "The Darkest Places," and "Heard that Sound" are classic MxPx. The band sounds completely re-invigorated leaving behind the staleness that permeated from nearly every song on the last album. One hurdle longtime fans will have to overcome is the fact that, on Panic, MxPx has evolved. The punk and roll of "Get Me Out," "The Story," and "Cold Streets" holds up to even the tightest Bad Religion album. The overt aggression on these songs makes MxPx palatable again to their fans, who are aging right alongside them. You'll find straightforward rock ("Call In Sick"), a low-key rock ballad ("This Weekend"), and plenty more that will catch you off guard on this album. Believe it or not, but Panic is actually unpredictable.
For all the raving I'm doing here, I should point out that not every song is good. It's really easy to get excited about this record though if you've been rooting for this band to step up. However, there is more than enough here to blow you away no matter if you are a fan of the bands classic pop-punk style or the band's previous masterpiece, Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo. Everything finally comes together on this one and, for the first time, the band sounds like they mean business.