Descendents: 9th & Walnut (Epitaph) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, April 22nd, 2024  


9th & Walnut


Jul 26, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The first Descendents album since 2016’s excellent Hypercaffium Spazzinate is not the long-awaited follow-up of new material that they’re currently working on, but instead older recordings made in 2002 and 2004 of material originally written, rehearsed, and played live by the band in their early years (1977-1980). Hence, the lineup on this is the same one that made their debut 7-inch “Ride the Wild” b/w “It’s a Hectic World,” 1980’s ‘”Fat” 7’-inch, and the 1982 stone-cold classic debut LP, Milo Goes to College.

Confused? Well that is okay, but regardless, it’s always a treat to hear singer Milo Aukerman and drummer Bill Stevenson backed by the now late original guitarist Frank Navetta and original bassist Tony Lombrado, as they have a totally unique sound not really heard on any subsequent Descendents records. (These days Aukerman and Stevenson are usually joined by current bassist Karl Alvarez and guitarist Stephen Egerton, both of whom have played with Stevenson in Descendents and side-band ALL since a show in September 1986.) As such, this has more in common sonically with the aforementioned early (1980-1982) version of the band and at times sounds like a sonic blend of the first single’s power pop/surf-inspired tunes and the short, sharp, speedy melodic hardcore of “Fat” and Milo Goes to College.

The highlights here are plenty, from the single “Like the Way I Know” to re-recorded, more punk-sounding versions of “It’s a Hectic World” and “Ride the Wild,” along with the album-closing cover of Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over” that was more likely than not inspired by the great version that The Rezillos did in 1978 on their debut LP Can’t Stand the Rezillos. It should also be noted that there is a song here called “You Make Me Sick,” but it’s not the late ’70s UK punk classic by Satan’s Rats that was later covered by Upright Citizens (’80s German contemporaries of Descendents who had a record on BYO). All in all, this is an absolute treat for old fans or those who just love this style. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 4/10


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