MR. T EXPERIENCE: King Dork Approximately: LP

This is the first new record from MTX since Yesterday’s Rules, twelve years ago. It comes to us as a companion piece for frontman “Doctor” Frank Portman’s young adult novels of the same name—plus and minus the “Approximately” part. I’m still making my way through the first book, so this review won’t be able to tell you how much the songs tie into the story. Considering that Doctor Frank has always been known for having some of the smartest lyrics in pop punk, I’m assuming these tracks are a nice complement to the books. “Gooey Glasses” is a standout track to me. It starts out with real gritty guitar tones, then transitions into a softer bridge like something the Flaming Lips might have written. Then it ends on a loop of the same raucous riff with a strong lead over top of it. One of the tracks, “O’Brien is Tryin’ to Learn to Talk Hawaiian” is a cover of a song from 1916 that Portman tackles on an acoustic guitar. There are songs that strongly relate to teenagers, such as “High School Is the Penalty for

Transgressions Yet to Be Specified,” with lyrics about how shitty high school can be, and how much of the same it is in adulthood. But then songs like “Thinking of Suicide?” are less dark than you might think, and fall in line more with upbeat tracks like “I Wanna Ramone You.” It’s a satisfying new MTX record for longtime fans, and even better for teenagers finding the band for the first time now. Whenever movie options happen for these books, MTX already has the soundtrack taken care of. –Kayla Greet (Sounds Rad, soundsradical.com)