Metaphysical Monday: Life in General

By Seth Hecox on April-23-2012 | Filed under Articles | Tags : , , , | Share

Metaphysical Monday:  Life in General

Next in our series of “Classic Christian Albums” is an MxPx masterpiece.  “Life in General” was the crowning achievement for Christian punk, in my humble (but very correct) opinion.  MxPx owns the title as kings of Christian punk and this album is their zenith.

My earliest memories of anything related to MxPx were browsing through my local Christian Bookstore when I was only 13.  I had a pretty rad Christian Bookstore that would let you sample CDs in little listening booths with CD players.  They also had an aisle of the craziest assortment of uber-underground metal, hardcore, punk and ska CDs.  I don’t know who was stocking that place, but I guarantee there’s nothing like that stocked in any modern Lifeway or Family Christian Store (for a taste, I remember being horrified over and over to see this Metanoia album cover on the shelf).

I would browse through this assortment of wild album covers and terrible production (remember when Facedown bands had awful recordings?).  And then it would happen.  The crazy cover of Life in General would pop up.  Wow.  I would stand there and just stare at it for minutes.  It was so unlike anything I’d ever seen.  At the time (I wasn’t into heavy music yet, just enjoyed being wowed by how off-the-wall these bands were) I even questioned how this band was considered Christian, haha.  It was simultaneously the most exciting album art I could have ever looked at and the most “wrong” album cover I could look at.  It made me feel cool just to hold it and know it existed.  Even though I could’ve sampled it, I didn’t for several visits because I knew I wouldn’t understand it.

So there’s my story of awe surrounding this title, even predating my opportunity to actually hear the album.  The rest is history, as they say.  I heard it a few months later, was fascinated by the speed and rebellion of it and fell in love with every aspect of it.  My story isn’t unique.  I bet Brandon has a very similar story about this album or another MxPx album chronologically near it.

This album is harder to talk about objectively because its coolness is inherent in its attitude.  Yeah, the songs are awesome.  Yuri’s drumming is so fast, even now.  Mike’s voice is gravel gold.  Tom is… well Tom is there somehow (I actually heard a rumor that Mike played most of the guitars on the album because Tom wasn’t that good yet).  The production is great, the cover art is already stated as being transcendent and the lyrics are full of angst and rebellion and questions.  If you like punk at all, you gotta just spend some time with this one.  17 tracks of sweet, sweet, grimy, energetic punk.  Do it.

About the author Seth Hecox

I play music and write articles. I write the Metaphysical Monday article for IVM. I have a folk project due out later this year. I identify with the Reformed aspects of the Christian faith and I live in the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia. Follow my musical life at facebook.com/sethhecoxmusic and my (lame) comedy life at twitter.com/sethhecox. View all posts by Seth Hecox

10 Responses to 'Metaphysical Monday: Life in General'

  1. Drummin' Dan says:

    Could not agree more Seth. I still listen to this album AT LEAST once a week. I always tell people, if I were deserted on an island somewhere and could only have one CD… it would be Life in General. MxPx. This album is what inspired me to play drums. When I was 14 years old, I remember sending in a letter to MxPx’s fan mail (back when bands still did that?!) asking if Yuri used a double kick pedal… I got back a response saying NO! Back then, that blew my mind! To actually get a response AND that he could play that fast….. honestly, I don’t know if I’ll ever stop listening to this album. It just simply makes me happy. Enough said. See you at House of Blues Anaheim for the 20th Anniversary show in June!

    p.s. LOVING Plans within Plans… if you’re a LIG fan, it’s a must!

  2. Brandon says:

    This album is so great and I still love it. I remember working at a Christian bookstore when this album came into the store. It was huge back then. They even had it on cassette ;) I have so many fond memories of listening to Mxpx over the years at different periods of my life.

  3. This album, like the rest of the older ones(slowly going the way of the buffalo, the ever passing moment) , is amazing. I remember my older brother listening to these guys so so so much( and he still does I think, lol.) and he’s passed down the love for good ol’ punk to his younger siblings like any good brother should do. I’ve got some of these guys CD’s and I must say the older the MXPX CD the better.

  4. I love these guys! I met Mike Herrera and his wife at a movie theater once.

  5. This is great memoir of early MxPx days. They have held strong for 20 years now…yeah 20 years. Many bands don’t stay together more than 3 years. Great memories and great findings within this gem.

  6. Yorik bruhl says:

    Life defining album.

  7. Mokey says:

    I know the Metanoia cover you are talking about. It had the same effect on me! I remember going into the Christian bookstore and then I’d see that on one shelf and The Deadlines “Life and Death…” cd on the next and thinking to myself, Christian music has really gone down hill haha! Somewhere between then and now I’ve grown to love both. And of course, I love Life In General by Mxpx!

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