DESCENDENTS: Hypercaffium Spazzinate: LP

Chances are that if you’re a regular reader of this zine, you don’t need me to tell you who the Descendents are. Even if you’re a casual fan, you can agree that their legacy is well deserved. The thought I can’t shake while listening to these songs is that this album very well may have never materialized: both bassist Karl Alvarez and drummer Bill Stevenson faced serious health issues between the release of this album and their previous LP, Cool to Be You. Fortunately for us, not even death can stop the fortuitous foursome. I hate reading reviews with phrases such as “returning to form” because that would imply that a band like the Descendents has ever lost their way and that simply isn’t true. If you’re looking for another Milo Goes to College or Everything Sucks, you’re setting yourself up for unrealistic expectations. The truth is that Descendents never abandoned their roots or went the route of wrongful experimentation with genres and sounds they never really belonged in just to see if they could sell records. They pursued their outside interests (Milo in biochemistry), played in other bands (Bill in Only Crime, three quarters of the band in All) and recorded other punk bands at their own studio the Blasting Room during their down time, all the while honing their edge. To think that they could ever write a bad song is just plain silly. From start to finish, we are beholding yet another future classic album in a discography that is already damn near perfect. I can understand if you don’t really feel this album or think it’s just not that good, but if you honestly think that this album outright sucks then I think there’s a good chance that you suck even harder. –Juan Espinosa (Epitaph)