MxPx - Both Ends Burning DVD (Cover Artwork)


MxPx: Both Ends Burning DVDBoth Ends Burning DVD (2011)

Reviewer Rating: 2.5

Contributed by: JephsoJephso
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When I saw one of the trailers for Both Ends Burning, I was intrigued. It looked dark and ominous, and raised some questions about MxPx that hadn't quite been answered yet. Such as, how exactly do Yuri Ruley and Tom Wisniewski feel about MxPx these days? What are they doing instead of the band now? .

When I saw one of the trailers for Both Ends Burning, I was intrigued. It looked dark and ominous, and raised some questions about MxPx that hadn't quite been answered yet. Such as, how exactly do Yuri Ruley and Tom Wisniewski feel about MxPx these days? What are they doing instead of the band now? Do the members have any regrets over the way they handled their career? The trailer made the film look like it might be a true study of the struggles involved in surviving as a mid-level rock band. In the end, these questions aren't really answered.

That trailer is basically taken from the opening minute or so of Both Ends Burning. After that we get into some buildup to the band's show at Las Vegas, where they played Life In General in full. That show was also meant to be the last with Tom and Yuri. It would have been great to see some songs from that show, but just as the band takes to the stage, the screen fades to black and we move to MxPx's offices.

These two opening scenes are missed opportunities, and that represents the film as a whole for me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge MxPx fan, but Both Ends Burning is another poor release from a band who should have perhaps called it quits a few years earlier. These guys were huge in the '90s and were a gateway band for many punk fans. In fact, there are a couple of points in the film where various punk rock luminaries talk about how much they (used to) love MxPx. But it just feels like a band clutching at their fading legacy. All these people like Jay Weinberg and Stephen Egerton are talking about things like how great Pokinatcha and Slowly Going The Way of the Buffalo were, but it's simply nostalgia for the band that MxPx used to be.

The film jumps from interviews with Mike, Tom and Yuri to tour footage to radio appearances; there isn't any structure. There are also a few technical aspects which make the film less watchable. The image quality is ropey on the whole, and the audio is out of sync with the footage in parts, and it's very noticeable. You could say this gives the film a DIY feel, but it just feels amateur to me.

The one part of the film that felt like it might develop into something interesting was when the band started talking about how Mike and Tom used to fight, sometimes throwing punches at each other. It would have been good to explore these tensions and perhaps portray MxPx as a band with some attitude and aggression, but instead we soon cut to someone from Alternative Press saying how well MxPx have done to stay together for 20 years.

Of course it's natural that bands change as they get older, but MxPx have lost all of the aggression, speed and vitality they showed on their early releases, and that's what made them successful. A lot of the songs that soundtrack Both Ends Burning are Mike playing his acoustic guitar, and this only reinforces the feeling that the band has lost its bite.

I actually stopped watching Both Ends Burning after about an hour and came back to it a week later--it was that dull. You don't see any progression within MxPx; it all feels like incidental footage that could have been put up on the band's YouTube channel. Or maybe it's just the fact that there is no real tension or excitement within MxPx anymore. And if there is, it wasn't captured in this film.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
xjeremynicholsx (April 20, 2012)

Honestly this is one of the most hard working bands out there . To say they should have called it quits is just insane . There music does not have to evolve it can stay the same , who are you to say that ? There message has always been positive , they write some of the most catchy songs than any other band . Take a look at bands like Blink 182 , yes they evolved but they lost a lot of there fans by doing so .(Not me) This is just my opinion , and i think your review pretty much sucked .

CobraSkullsFan (January 23, 2012)

i agree with all of htis. they should have called it quits in 2008, and that would have even been pushing it. Poor Mike. It's over, man. Go open a restaurant or a bar or some shit. Magnified Plaid is done.

EchosMyron (January 20, 2012)

Life in General and Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo aren't terrible albums, despite having juvenile lyrics. And their live album is definitely their strongest and funnest release ever, as they blast through all of the songs and strip off most of their pop polish.

punker001 (January 20, 2012)

Well, I saw MXPX in Australia last year and they were very fast and agressive! So I wouldn't say they lost it just yet! Plus the last e.p. had some good stuff on it

saveourship (January 20, 2012)

This is really disappointing. I was looking forward to this DVD and will probably still buy it to make my own opinion on it, but I didn't really expect to hear anything other than this.

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