Album review: Mike Herrera's Tumbledown, "Tumbledown" 

It seems beneath the tattoos, piercings, green hair and sneer, many punk rockers harbor a soft spot for country music. How else to explain the -billy genres of rocka and psycho.

Add Mike Herrera to that list. The vocalist/bassist for long-running punk-pop trio MxPx has been writing acoustic-flavored ballads for the last decade or so. They're finally seeing the world them in album form, on Tumbledown, released this May on End Sounds Records.

The sound therein isn't exactly a stretch for Herrera. It maintains the zip perfected by MxPx after all these years. Only here Jack Parker's lead guitar is much more twangy and canyon-sized than the angular archetype of punk. Harley Trotland adds a frenetic two-step and Herrera and standup bassist Marshall Trotland a gutbucket of knotty chords for a brawling form of rustic music.

Over many a galumphing pace, Herrera waxes poetic about living off the road, visiting place after place where dreams go to die and drinking is the only elixir. It's not exactly family hour, but there's a sincerity to Herrera's mythos that shines through. It's good he chose to showcase this side of himself.

For more information on Mike Herrera's Tumbledown, visit www.tumbledownhq.com.

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