Arts and Entertainment

MxPx set to brandish its ‘Secret Weapon’

Bremerton’s owm MxPx is set to release their 10th CD, “Secret Weapon.” - Courtesy photo
Bremerton’s owm MxPx is set to release their 10th CD, “Secret Weapon.”
— image credit: Courtesy photo

MxPx’s upcoming CD, the 10th full-length of its discography, is reaching back to the punkish roots that the band planted in Bremerton more than a decade ago. Unfortunately for those MxPx-sters still in Kitsap, there will be no live release shows for “Secret Weapon” anywhere on the peninsula.

(However, getting the record into retail and CD shops in Bremerton is a priority.)

Fifth Avenue in Seattle will be the closest shot to see them live as the three-piece will be jammin’ in-store promo at 7 p.m. July 27 at Silver Platters Records 701 5th Ave, Seattle.

Then, they are off to Singapore and then Japan. Such is life for the dudes from MxPx.

What’s Up recently caught up with vocalist/bassist Mike Herrera and drummer Yuri Ruley on Pacific Avenue in Bremerton.

“Sometimes living it is difficult,” Herrera said of MxPx’s regimen.

“(But) we’ve all retained a sense that there’s still something more out there to do,” Ruley added.

What began at a backyard barbecue in Bremerton back in the early 90s has turned into a 15-year quest which MxPx has navigated with countless shows and festivals around the world, sonically documented on nine full-length albums from three different record labels.

The 10th “Secret Weapon” is back on the original label (Tooth and Nail) with the original producer (Aaron Sprinkle) and a sound somewhat nostalgic in its straight-aheadness.

“Very much aggressive punk rock,” Ruley said. “It doesn’t let up.”

The relatively lo-tech, direct sound is in large part a product of the band’s straight ahead approach to the latest CD, 16 songs in 15 days with Sprinkle, the man who produced the band’s first demo and first full-length “Pokinatcha.”

“We weren’t messin’ around. We had to go to Australia like literally the day after we finished work on the record,” Herrera said of recording “Secret Weapon.” “We just went in, knew exactly what we wanted to record and busted it out.”

“Even (Sprinkle) was saying, ‘Now, this is the way to make a record,’” Ruley said.

Hints of “Secret Weapon’s” cadence as well as a black-and-white music video for the title track are available online through MxPx’s myspace.com page (myspace.com/mxpx) and other e-outlets. The full album will hit stores and the web July 17.

It’s a somewhat refreshing collection of the more punk side of the pop-punk band that had seemingly slipped into an almost candy-coated tenor.

This time around, Ruley’s impeccable punk rock polka beat drives the pure volume guitar and bass under gruff vocals from the beset of the album’s opening songs “Secret Weapon” and “Shut it Down.”

But the ever-so catchy, Mx-sweetened sound is still around.

“The music is real,” Herrera said. “Some people want fake and they want the unbelievable, but there’s people out there ... people that just like music and want something real.”

“Secret Weapon” hankers at a brutal reality.

One song, “Chop Shop” speaks of an ugly murder that left an apartment in the bloodiest state the police had ever seen, while “Shut it Down” laments, while looking into the technological state of affairs: “Throw away your cell phone / You can talk to yourself / You need a real friend / Not a digital image.”

In both cases, it’s in your face.

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