Sunday, March 1, 2009
THE DESCENDENTS: SOMERY
The Desendents are a highly addictive band that perfectly bridges the gap between punk, hardcore, and power pop. Their songs are full of teen angst and are about lost women, failed relationships, the quest for fast food, caffeine, satisfaction and happiness, the never-ending quest for that which can not be obtained, the quest for "All"....the relentless quest for happiness and perfection that drives their music and ties of all of their material together. This quest for 'All' gives their music a dark edge, because as we all know, complete happiness can never be attained. The Descendents' music is joyfully mindless yet equally and immediately emotive, powerful and full of harmonies and hooks that make you want to keep coming back for more.
My favorite Descendents album is "Somery"(1991). It is a collection of material from all of their 1980's releases. Milo's vocals are sorrowful, yet happy and inspiring. The guitar work of Frank Navetta is top notch...pleasant to listen to yet devastating. The rhythm section of Tony Lombardo on bass and Bill Stevenson on drums is grimy and relentless...like a tighter, leaner, and meaner Black Flag. I cannot express my love for this band and this album enough. I first heard The Descendents when I turned 18 and was entering college. These songs have stuck with me since then. The Descendents have gotten me through tough times, happy times, and all of the mediocre times between and are still getting me through life some seventeen years later. It's hard to name some favorite tracks, but "Silly Girl", "Coolidge", "Clean Sheets", "Sour Grapes" and "I Like Food" come immediately to mind.
Just give these guys a listen. I'm sure you will like them. Over the past several years they have been popping up with a new album every now and then. A new Descendents release is always a treat. I don't know what their status is as of now. Their guitarist Frank Navetta passed away late last year from a pre-existing heart condition. Singer Milo is a bio-chemist, and the others are staying busy with various side projects. Will there be more Descendents in the future? No one knows, and it doesn't matter because "Somery" is such a strong compilation that it is all you really need.
These guys are so influential that it is hard to believe. If you listen to Green Day and some of the other power pop/punk bands that are around today, ask yourself a question. Who do they sound like? Where did they get that riff, those harmonies? You know what the answer is going to be...
Anyway, here's some of my favorite tracks from the exhaustive 29 track "Somery".
Silly girl - Descendents
coolidge - descendents
I LIke Food - Descendents