Saturday, September 18, 2004

Cool To Be You
Fat Wreck Chords,

It’s time once again to marvel at the aceness of the pencilled interpretation of Milo Aukerman on a Descendents release. After an excruciating 8 years, the Los Angeles punk legends have released a riff-rammed full length in Cool To Be You.

The song writing is split almost evenly between 3 of the members, bar guitarist Stephen Egerton. The band has never in their 25 years claimed to be about politics, and it would be a tragedy if they were. Instead they stick to their usual areas of expertise: Girls, high school, and things that suck (like stupid people). If you aren’t familiar with The Descendents, don’t be mistaken; this is no group of whiny floppy-haired fucksticks. Songs like “One More Day”, “Maddie” and “Anchor Grill” are as tuneful as ever – but they’re not quite as fast paced as previous Descendents love songs. There’s no stinkers here, but Aukerman’s classic voice is put to best use on the title track, “ ‘Merican” (the song Green Day SHOULD have written) and “Blast Off”. The familiarly titled “Mass Nerder” is arguably a little weak in comparison as the trademark fast and simple song (though it fails to be under 40 seconds). “Dry Spell” is the usual brilliant super-melodic album-ender.

The Descendents have had more line up changes and have broken up more times than you’d think a band could survive. Hopefully, this time, they won’t split up after they have rounded up yet another generation of eager new fans with this amazing record.


James Lamont.