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If there's one thing that can be said about Bremerton stalwarts MXPX, it's that the perils of being career musicians will never outweigh the joy they've found in truly doing what they love, because no matter how many pitfalls are thrown in their path, "There is a song in there somewhere," says lead vocalist/bassist Mike Herrera. PLANS WITHIN PLANS, the trio's ninth studio record, which will cap off a 20-year career come July, is set for release April 3 through MRI/Rock City Recording Company in the U.S. and Canada, as well as releases in the U.K./Europe, Japan and Australia/New Zealand.

As evidenced on their December 2011 DVD release, BOTH ENDS BURNING, MXPX has been traversing the globe nonstop, showcasing their trademark brand of positive punk to millions of fans all over the world. Upon returning home to Bremerton, the three decided to take a step back from the band and reassess the next phase in the MXPX evolution.

Herrera spent the band's off time touring the world with his punk western outfit, Tumbledown, and undoubtedly collected endless amounts of inspiration through travel. Back home in Bremerton, guitarist Tom Wisniewski and drummer Yuri Ruley took some much needed time off, working outside of the music industry and spending time with loved ones.

"We all deal with changes differently," Herrera states. "We've had to realize over the years that regardless of what those changes are, we've managed to remain true to the band and adjust things accordingly."

MXPX has not released a full-length album in five years (2007's SECRET WEAPON), and through those times, the band has endured their fair share of tribulations. Whether it was identity theft, credit card fraud, outrunning muggers in foreign countries, constant van breakdowns, accumulating debt in an attempt to fund tours — the list could go on.

The result of these struggles is PLANS WITHIN PLANS, a two decade career coming to grips not only with aging as a band, but also the harsh reality that they are still on a steep upward climb toward their collective goals. Always sharing an endearing commonality with their diehard fans, the album has its throwback moments while still managing to employ a few surprises.

The record was made at Herrera's Monkey Trench Studios in Bremerton. Leaving the session strictly up to the trio, the band enjoyed huge benefits during the recording process. With only three schedules to work with, it was an easy process and the stress was minimized. "I don't like to be tied down to tight schedules while recording, so having my own space to use and manipulate at will is key," said Herrera.

Space and time seems like the perfect prescription for the band, with PLANS WITHIN PLANS' opening track, "Aces Up," which, according to the band, is a leading favorite among MXPX insiders. The track is a perfect opener, getting the listener hooked right off the bat. The anger soaked scorcher "Screw Loose" is the first glimpse we see of lyrics covering the struggles mentioned above.

"Far Away," the first single from PLANS WITHIN PLANS, is the perfect mixture of old-school MXPX and the growling tenacity we saw on SECRET WEAPON. The guitars and vocals are catchier and more diverse than ever, while still holding true to the punk simplicity of past efforts. The lyrics tell stories of thankfulness, strife, and treasured memories. It's a flagship song, encouraging us to move forward and overcome.

Punk rock legend and guitar player of the Descendents, Stephen Egerton, mixed and mastered the album. As if this wasn't enough, he lends his guitar playing on a few tracks to boot.

A good portion of the record pays homage to those who have stuck by the band's side all these years, a love letter of sorts to the fans and friends who have believed in the punk rock trio for almost two decades now. But it's clear in tracks such as "Nothing Left" and "Best of Times" that the band couldn't be happier with where they find themselves today.

While many bands that began their journey alongside MXPX, or perhaps even years later, have since faded away or simply given up, there is no doubt that the Bremerton three still hold true to the blue collar work ethic they've had since the beginning. PLANS WITHIN PLANS is the perfect punk record snapshot of a band diligently making the best of their own personal uphill climb. With each release, they come back with a vengeance and continue proving to naysayers that they remain a legacy band within the punk culture. MXPX is not going the way of the buffalo anytime soon.