Descendents Are Back!
Longtime punks the Descendents will release their first album in
seven years tentatively titled Cool to Be You (Fat
Wreck Chords) in March.
Founding member and drummer Bill Stevenson (also formerly of Black
Flag and currently in All) gave brief descriptions of a few new songs
on punknews.org. His comments confirm that the band has hardly
abandoned its quirky, goofball roots. "'Blast Off' is about having a
bad chili-related incident in the bathroom," he was quoted as saying.
"'Anchor Grill' is about responsibilities taking the fun out of life.
'Alive' sounds like the Screaming Trees playing a Doors song.
"'Maddie' operates in, I don't even know how many keys," he
continued. "It almost sounds Schoenbergish or Bartokish in that you
can never predict where the tonic sensor will fall next."
The band will also drop an EP called 'Merican on Fat Wreck
Chords in January. The track listing for the EP: "Nothing With You,"
"'Merican," "Here With Me," and "I Quit."
Descendents formed in L.A. in 1979, quickly becoming known for
inventing their own idiosyncratic brand of jacked-up, sloppy,
hardcore-tinged punk where song subjects included fast-food,
suburbia, fishing, broken-down cars and duct tape. Driven by a sneer,
their jolting, spastic punk sounds included surf-rock style melodic
riffs wedded to hardcore punk.
The initial Descendents lineup consisted of vocalist/guitarist Frank
Navetta, vocalist/bassist Tony Lombardo and Stevenson from '79 to
'80. In 81 they added frontman Milo Auckerman. Following their 1981
EP Fat, on Black Flag leader/guitarist Greg Ginn's SST label,
the band released their full-length debut Milo Goes to College
(SST) a year later.
Due to Stevenson's role in Black Flag, Milo's actual trip to college
to study biochemistry, and time spent starting up All, the
Descendents were on-again, off-again, enduring a revolving lineup
through the late '80s and early '90s (releasing a slew of records on
SST) until Auckerman and Stevenson solidified the band in 1996 with
Karl Alvarez on bass and Stephen Egerton on guitar. That year they
released their most recent full-length, Everything Sucks
(Epitaph). Jenny Tatone [Wednesday, November 12, 2003]