MxPx – B-Movie

MxPx – B-Movie / 2004 SideOneDummy / / /

Hey, I didn’t realize that MxPx had been doing music for twelve years. I remember getting introduced to them when their song “Chick Magnet” hit the air in 1998. Well, that’s been what? 7 years – and thats when they got incredibly, almost annoying large in terms of punk music. However, the anger that I felt about “Chick Magnet” has muted itself as MxPx has came out with a host of more palatable tracks. B-Movie is a sort of a “Greatest Hits” for the band, showing the band in their element and more importantly in a way that someone watching a concert would see. “B-Movie” is the quintessential concert film, interspersing an interview-esque discussion by the band in-between live tracks. The live footage begins with “Well Adjusted”, and while that is done with the utmost care in terms of video footage, sound production, and performance the pseudo-interview is tedious to say the least. Remember that MxPx is a Christian band, and where a video like Def Leppard’s “In The Round” was fun just because of their drunkenness or debaucheries, there is none of that on “B-Movie”. The most risky that the band gets is their “theme nights”, which smack of the “wild” activities that youth groups win over new converts with.

The necessary audio montage comes into play when MxPx is talking about their “A/C EP”, showing the overall rote-ness of the DVD more visibly than anything that has preceded it. The tepidness of the interview sections is bizarrely coupled with the intensity of the live performances. “Tomorrow Is Another Day” is circle pit-worthy, and yet the entire front of the crowd is almost comatose – the people just aren’t moving in any meaningful way. However, the crowd redeems itself with the sing-along to the aforementioned crowd – practically everyone in the crowd belts out the chorus (too bad the crowd has absolutely no talent in that department).

The footage of a foreign land is another concert-video essential, and MxPx doesn’t skimp on this regard. Covering their touring around the world provides the audience with a different view of the world – some of the individuals in Japan are just as ugly as those that populate the front rows of a MxPx show in the United States. Acoustically playing “Let It Happen” gives a different spin to the track, but allows for watchers of the video to notice something slightly discerning. The vocals aren’t synced with the performance during the track and seem not to fit in any meaningful way with the acoustics. While I know that a number of bands do re-dub their vocals for these live videos, I feel that they should do it in a way that the average listener could never tell.

Rating: 6.1/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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