Now, seriously...is there any Magnified Plaid fan in this world who was NOT disappointed by The Ever Passing Moment? With it's pretty melodies and crappy lyrics, "Moment" seemed to signify MxPx's downfall. Where had Mike's whiny voice and Yuri's insane drumming gone (Tom seemed like the only member able to benefit from that album...)? It seemed like all hope was lost, that "Mike, Tom, and Yuri" would become another "Mark, Tom, and Travis" clone. But have no fear, my friends. With their new 9 song EP, "The Renaissance EP," the guys have proven that they haven't forsaken their punk roots. The band released the EP on independent label Fat Wreck Chords instead of on A&M...A&M wouldn't let them release another album this soon, i guess? Well, anyways, "The Renaissance" does sound very much like an indie album, instead of the "corporate punk" tragedy The Ever Passing Moment turned out to be. Mike seems to scream a lot here, a good sign. The guy definitely can sing, but he sounds better when he gets some screaming in. Some of the songs, like "Time Will Tell" and "Talk of the Town" even sound like some of their older stuff, like some of the songs off Teenage Politics or Pokinatcha. Still, "The Renaissance" isn't perfect, even if it does represent a return to the punk basics (to some extent). There aren't any earth shattering songs on here, like Punk Rawk Show or Chick Magnet...this EP can't really compare to Life in General or Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo.