Review Summary: Pardon my use of cliche terms, but "Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo," can be considered their most underrated release yet. With its catchy vocals, and catchy "music" in general just going un-noticed.
For those of you that are uneducated about Mxpx. They are a Seattle based proud-to-be Christian band. Mxpx started about seven years ago when three 15 year-old kids claimed they were a band that went by the name of "Magnified Plaid." They honestly didn't like their unique band name but it was actually a tribute to the original guitarist's penchant for sporting one certain loud plaid shirt. Because of the disliked band name, the name was abbreviated to M.P., but in Yuri's handwriting, periods became "X"'s and since he made up show posters for the band, the four letter moniker stuck with the band. And was officially plagued as the one and only Mxpx.
"Slowly Going The Way Of The Buffalo" is brought to you by:
Mike Herrera - Bass, Vocals
Tom Wisniewski - Lead Guitar
Yuri Ruley - Drums
One thing that makes this album stand out above all my other punk albums in my collection, is that this one never fails to keep me entertained and on my feet. With its endless sing-a-long choruses on just about every single one of the songs excluding songs; Under Lock and Key, Final Slowdance, Fist Vs. Tact, For Always, Inches From Like, and Theme Fiasco. Theme Fiasco is pretty much just a lyric-less song. Its starts out kind of mysterious and excells up to a cool bass line, displays tight-knit musicianship. Probably the best display of musicianship on the whole album. It sounds exactly like what the name of the song is, a big "Theme Fiasco." But it makes out to be an excellent song, especially for a closer.
With the sing-a-long's under this albums belt, I can't leave out, how damn catchy this album truly is. Which falls under the same lines of keeping me entertained and keeping the energy alive. Pretty much every song falls under the lines of being truely catchy.
Unlike some of Mxpx's earlier and later albums, not all of these songs should really be considered pop/punk and can honestly be considered down right dirty punk rock. With its fast guitar and bass constelation, and catchy drum work, these songs are the best examples; Under Lock and Key, Tomorrow's Another Day (which starts slow and then picks up the pace after approx. 22 seconds), Final Slowdance, Cold And All Alone, Downfall of Western Civilization, Fist Vs. Tact, and Inches From Like. The rest of the tracks are either slow for Mxpx, or just at medium speed. But don't get me wrong, just because they are not downright fast, doesnt mean that they are not good and punk worthy.
Mike Herrera's vocals are pretty clean and clear sounding on most of "Slowly Going The Way Of The Buffalo." Although every once in a while he will give us a display of screams and some vocals that can be considered "groggy" if you will. Like in "Downfall of Western Civilization," there is a tad bit of screams, and believe it or not, they are done well and don't sound the least bit forced or out of place. Another example is the song "Fist Vs. Tact," which is just full blown high pitched almost screaming lyrics from the get-go. Still done well, but when compared with the "Downfall of Western Civilization" screams, I'll have to go with "Downfall of Western Civiliazation." Mainly because they are more clear and easier to soak in, "Fist Vs. Tact almost sounds like he has a sore throat when singing that song. Those are the only two songs, where Mike's vocals are different than what you are used to hearing from Mxpx. Besides those, I have to give credit to his singing and vocals for being able to stay so clean, even when its on a fast song, and he's singing at a high rate of speed, I can still understand what he's saying.
For those of you, that are not huge fans of super short songs, this album is not the place for you to go. As for the longest song goes for the record time of (3:43), that song is "Whats Mine is Yours," and the shortest song is thankfully "Fist Vs. Tact." I said thankfully because this has to be hands down my least favorite song on the album. Just gets repetitive, and I'm thankful that that's the only song that Mike sings like that.
Now time to get into the lyrics of "Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo." I'm going to give two examples of lyrics for this, the first one, is of course the sing-a-long lyrics. The lyrics that I think would be the funnest to sing-a-long to, at an Mxpx concert. These lyrics would have to come off of the infamous song that goes by the name of "Party, My House, Be There." Here's the example;
It's about time for a party at my house And it wouldn't be the same without you No not at all as I recall You've got what I need!
It may not sound too catchy or fun, but if you have heard this song before, you probably know what I am talking about. Without that song and the vocals to it, I probably wouldn't like Mxpx as much as I do today. "Party, My House, Be There" is a "must listen" if you want to check this album out. Now the second example of lyrics that comes straight off of this album I chose the song "Self Serving With A Purpose" for this example;
Still "Desperate is as desperate does" Self served purpose, grasping straws Ugly hate and ill breed heart Misunderstanding from the start
Its not exactly "cliche" which is a big reason to why I like it, but this example, is a pretty good example of what the rest of the songs can be based around and about. It's not typical pop/punk lyrics, you can tell that they have actually put some thought into what they want their fans to hear, and they've done a good job doing it.
The guitars and drums in this album are probably what make this album stand out with its catchy hooks and breakdowns. But if your looking to hearing a whole lot of bass lines, this isnt your place to look. The bass is just of course hiding behind the guitars sounds, and backing it up. But the guitar and drums breed very well together and work in a tight knit fashion when it's on the right occasion, like in a fast pace song. No real flaws with the musicianship and the instruments alone. Although if your looking for some solo's, look the other way, because there are no solo's in "Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo."
This album is a great album for any virgin Mxpx listener to get if they are wanting to try to get into Mxpx. And its definitely an essential album for any huge Mxpx fan. This is personally my all-time favorite Mxpx album and I praise the hell out of it, so I hope I didn't so too awfully bias. For the highlight songs, just choose any of them instead of; Fist Vs. Tact, Theme Fiasco, Get With It and Invitation To Understanding.