Descendents – 9th & Walnut review

If you’re looking for a ground zero of West Coast pop-punk – or even if you’re not – then the box marked Go! is widely recognised as the Descendents 1982 debut Milo Goes To College, twenty two minutes of febrile hardcore that if you listen to the likes of Dave Grohl and Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus was some pretty inspirational sociopathy-with-a-surfboard.

Initially a trio, the subject of the title was singer Milo Aukerman who joined Tony Lombardo (bass), Bill Stevenson (drums) and Frank Navetta (guitar) two years after their 1977 formation in Manhattan Beach, just south of LA. Aukerman’s departure meant that what is regarded as the classic line up was only together for that one release, although the band has remained sporadically active with fluctuating personnel to this day.

9th & Walnut is a collection of the band’s songs written pre-Milo by Lombard and Navetta, but which weren’t recorded until 2002 and on which he then put vocals down for eighteen years later. It sounds complicated, but it isn’t and the material – including a thrashy version of The Dave Clark Five’s I’m A Believer – reveals a band with not much more growing down to do before a surprise place in punk’s hall of fame beckoned. Brimming with youthful energy and anger, at it’s raucous apex on Mohicans the bridge between primal rock and roll and it’s snotty brat offspring is gloriously crossed; it’s a great end to any beginning.

you can read the full review here.

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