I’m not the world’s biggest MxPx fan. For my punk (if you can call it that), I tend to go with Roadside Monument or Scaterd Few. I know there are some out there who think that this trio is the greatest thing to ever happen to Christian music. While I wouldn’t go that far, I do think that MxPx has proven time and time again that they aren’t some Green Day soundalike, but have far more depth and style in their music. Case in point: On the Cover, a collection of, you guessed it, cover songs.
Contrary to what you might think, MxPx doesn’t cover punk songs on this album. Instead, they cover a wide assortment of music, from the ’50s pop of Buddy Holly to Bryan Adams to the synthpop of Joy Electric. And they cover those songs in the typical MxPx style; fast, tight musicianship, earnest vocals, and vocal harmonies that are always a treat to the ears.
The most out of place song on here is “Drum Machine Joy,” a song by Christian music’s reigning pop genius, Ronnie Martin (Joy Electric). However, it comes off as being one of the best. It’s so earnest, that you could swear that Mike Herrera wrote it. The pop hooks and lyrics carry over perfectly to MxPx’s style, a great reminder that there really aren’t music genres, just good music.
For my money, the best song on here is the cover of A-Ha’s classic “Take on Me.” If you want an example of MxPx at their best, this song is it. MxPx’s vocal harmonies are right on, and their playing keeps up with it. Other highlights include the ska-ified version of “Oh Boy” and “Marie Marie.” The album closes with a cover of “No Brain” by The Cootees, an MxPx side project.
While all of the MxPx albums are good, especially their latest, Life In General, I really dig this one for having the courage to cover some really un-punk songs. Admittedly, this album has a bit of a novelty factor to it, but it’s still really fun, and that’s all that matters.