Arts and Entertainment

MxPx back 'On the Cover'

The MxPx of 1995 (inset) from the original “On The Cover” record, juxtaposed with the MxPx of 2009 on the cover of
The MxPx of 1995 (inset) from the original “On The Cover” record, juxtaposed with the MxPx of 2009 on the cover of 'On The Cover II' (above).
— image credit: Courtesy Photos/MxPx

New album of punk rock cover songs, out March 24.

For years, savethehumans.com, a culture-bashing, shock-therapy, social commentary Web site hosted a community-forum-type of online register called the Ultimate Punk Rock Cover Song Project. Though it’s no longer updated, the list spans hundreds punk rock covers — everything from Pennywise playing the Beach Boys to Social Distortion singing Johnny Cash.

At the top of an accompanying editorial piece on the top-10 punk rock cover songs of all time sits Bremerton band MxPx, for its 1995 EP “On the Cover,” a collection of eight MxPx-ized covers — Buddy Holly to Bryan Adams to American gospel singer Keith Green.

“Back then there wasn’t many punk bands doing cover albums,” MxPx frontmant Mike Herrera said. “Of course bands were playing cover songs, but I don’t think many had done whole albums.”

MxPx released the first “On the Cover” on Tooth & Nail Records, before its famed “Life in General” album, which spawned “Chick Magnet” and “Move To Bremerton,” in 1996. In the years that followed, the punk cover became sort of a movement in itself. Ergo the ensuing Ultimate Punk Rock Cover Song Project.

A California punker-supergroup even took the form of a classics cover band called Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies, releasing its first album (of all classic covers) “Having A Ball,” in 1997.

These days, there’s punk cover internet radio stations and cheeky punk cover compilations on everything from “Punk Goes Metal” to “Punk Goes Crunk.”

Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies released “Have Another Ball” in 2008. And now MxPx is back with “On The Cover II.” Same premise, same album cover, same record label: 13 years later.

It’s out in stores and online March 24.

It was spawned by fans’ requests, they say, and this time around features exclusively 80’s tunes — Dead Milkmen, Decendents, The Go-Gos, The Clash, Poison and more — with the exception of Queen. Yes, Queen.

“Every musician, at one point in their life, dreamed of being on stage,” MxPx drummer Yuri Ruley said. “Playing these songs that we grew up listening to is, in a sense, kind of re-living that childhood dream.”

Plus they’ve brought on a host of collaborators from Flogging Molly’s Matt Hensley playing accordion on “Punk Rock Girl” to Emily Whitehurst of The Action Design (formerly Agent M of Tsunami Bomb) singing “Heaven is a Place On Earth.”

Find video interviews with all seven special guests, more on “On the Cover II,” plus a new live DVD at mxpx.com.

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