There is no doubt that Michael Arthur Herrera reigns supreme in the punk scene. With Tom and Yuri by his side, MxPx has been a staple on MTV and radio alike. But strip down the accolades and start afresh with a new project: different band, different name, and a whole new crop of bridges arise to cross. Add Neil Hundt to the mix and you have Arthur: a melodic emo contradiction to MxPx. Touring with the likes of The Ataris have already began to dust the path that bands like MxPx have left behind. With Lonliness Is Bliss, their debut 6-song EP, recorded live, this should solidify Arthur as emo's next big act.
"Thought A Lot" begins the EP in perfect emo fashion with the catchy melodic emotion-filled anthem "Self Evaluation," soaring with an almost 70's Cars feel. "Birthday Party" puts a sad flavor to the yearly ritual whereas "Friday, April 6th" begins in MxPx form but adds a debut of Mike's screaming ability. "All My Life" is another highlight that keeps up with strong lyrical content and "Amazingly True" ends in nice punk/emo style, with a dash of backing choral vocals and a nice guitar solo.
This is a great start to a new form of music for Mike and the guys. New fans and MxPx fans alike will love these fellas, as they don't fall too far from the punk path. Fans of The Get Up Kids, Ataris, and old Saves The Day will eat this album up. The six songs are a tad repetitive seeing as they recording in a day or two but with a full length slated for Mid 2002, if anyone can do it, these guys will definitely make loneliness bliss.- Review date: 2/2/02, written by Blake Garris
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