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The Christian-themed punk-pop outfit MxPx formed in 1993 in Bremerton, WA. Originally dubbed Magnified Plaid, the group launched while its three members -- vocalist/bassist Mike Herrera, drummer Yuri Ruley, and guitarist Andy Husted -- were still attending high school. The moniker was later shortened to MxPx after Ruley abbreviated the name on some show flyers; poor handwriting saw the periods being interpreted as x's instead, and the name stuck. Wielding an energetic sound that was inspired by the Descendents, NOFX, the group's own Christian faith, and California's skateboard culture, the band wasted little time attracting a local following.
By the time Ruley and his bandmates received their driver's licenses, the trio had already released several 7" singles and a debut album, Pokinatcha, for Tooth & Nail Records in 1994. It quickly became the label's best seller and prompted the release of the band's sophomore effort, Teenage Politics, late the next year. By this time, Husted had been replaced by guitarist Tom Wisniewski, and the group quickly followed the release of Teenage Politics with a short collection of cover songs entitled On the Cover. Popular with the skate/surf community as well as the punk underground (with a snowboard sponsorship to their name), MxPx ultimately broke out of the underground in 1996 with their classic third LP, Life in General. The album included such fan favorites as "Chick Magnet" and "Move to Bremerton."
Though dubbed a Christian punk band, religious themes were never an overbearingly dominant force in the band's songs, as they usually relied on such universal themes as growing up. Furthermore, as MxPx progressed in their career, their songs gravitated toward the secular side of things even further. Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo, the band's debut for major label A&M, appeared in 1998. That fall, they also released the compilation album Let It Happen on their old Tooth and Nail label; the odds-and-sods collection contained B-sides, demos, and other stray tracks. The live recording At the Show showed the band's ability to re-create their spunky music in concert, and The Broken Bones EP appeared 2000 before their next full-length, The Ever Passing Moment, arrived in the spring.