Saturday, April 25, 2009

Somery - Descendents

God. I'm writing this review and I don't even know which Descendents song to place at the top of the heap.

So who are these Descendents? The original bratty snot-nosed California skater punk band from the 1980s. Green Day owes, like, their entire career to them. As do many so-called "punk" bands nowadays. (Irony: I love the Descendents but generally can't stand Green Day. Fact!) Milo Aukerman and Company provide the soundtrack to the teenage boy who wakes up one day to find that his body can barely contain the hormones that are suddenly gushing through his body. Any guy who lived through puberty can relate: a ravenous appetite, intense jizzlobbing dreams, and a cock that gets hard at any random provocation, especially the one that says " like girls."

About half of the songs on Somery (their best-of) last as long as it takes for said boy to go from zero to hard to ejaculation (i.e., less than two and a half minutes), and sound about as spurtastic, too. The longer ones are poppier, and actually owe a fair bit to the Beach Boys. (They even covered "Wendy" on Enjoy.) But the Descendents are primarily a punk band, with a classic, fairly clean L.A. sound somewhat akin to Black Flag.

Shit, man...I still can't decide. So here's a bunch of 'em (all from Somery).

1) "All/No, All!" - British punk band Wire (part of the class of '77) probably set the record for the shortest punk song with the 27-second "Field Day for the Sundays." Youth of Today took over in 1986 with "Standing Hard," with 28 words jammed into 16 seconds. One year later, the Descendents took the title and 2nd place with these volcanic soundbites, 3 and 4 seconds long, respectively. The perfect way to bookend Somery, and these have to be heard. Utterly hilarious.

2) "Suburban Home" - The poppier side of the Descendents' rebellious streak against, well, suburbia. "I want to be stereotyped. I want to be classified." Brilliant.

3) "Kids" - These three phrases are all you need to know: "Warningthebasemastergeneralhasdeterminedthatcoffeeisgoodforyourhealth," "Thankstomodernchemistrysleepisnowoptional," and the one that sums it up perfectly, "KIDS ON COFFEE! KIDS ON COFFEE! KIDS ON COFFEE!" Forty-six seconds of caffeine-fueled teenage insanity.

4) "Clean Sheets" - An excellent opening riff to a song about the angst of wet dreams and a girl who got away. It takes balls for a band to perform a song like this. No pun intended.

5) "Sour Grapes" - A fantastic (if somewhat mean-spirited) kiss-off to a pretty girl who snubs a poor, awkward and insanely shy boy who tries to ask her out on a date (and then some). Best line (misspellings intended): "I wanted her cherry, I got souw gwapes!"

6) "Weinerschnitzel" - Probably the one song I was going to praise originally. An eleven-second fast food order, including turning down a side order of "Bill sperm." The producers of Pump Up The Volume really nailed it when they put this song in there...and had Hard Harry play it twice in rapid succession, just because he could. Then they fucked up royally by not including it on the soundtrack.

7) "Enjoy" - You gotta love the Descendents for coming up with a paean to farting. In a van. With the windows rolled up. To see who can come up with the raunchiest smelling fart. (Comes complete with sound effects.)

8) "I Like Food" - And I like really, really short Descendents songs.

9) "I Don't Want To Grow Up" - The slightly harder-edged side of the Descendents' rebellious streak (see "Suburban Home"). Complete with "nyah-nyah-nyahs."

I'm sure there's others I forgot. But yeah, Somery's rad. Pick it up.


Wendy said...

Good to see someone giving the Descendents some love! They're not nearly as well know as they should be, which is a shame. I luckily discovered them as an angry teenage girl and they made me want to fuck shit up.

Best songs on Somery :

1. Good Good Things
2. Sour Grapes
3. I'm Not a Loser
4. Hurtin' Crue

Andy Nystrom and Cat Rose said...

Great! More Descendents bloggage: