Descendents – 9th & Walnut LP (Epitaph Records)

Descendents - 9th & Walnut LP - Epitaph Records

I am not going to lie that I am not a longtime fan of Descendents. Actually, I spent most of my life spraypainting Milo and Allroy caricatures on the walls, and I would continue to do so if I am not old enough to get arrested. Like many other loyal readers of this blog and the remainder of Descendents/ALL fanbase, I awaited this recording with anticipation. I rarely write reviews for the bands I admire, but Descendents are unquestionably an exception. Therefore, let’s jump straight to the 9th & Walnut, their latest full-length recording. The most interesting thing about this material is the fact these are not new songs, but no one heard them before. These songs were written between 1977 and 1980 and forgotten until the group recorded them in two sessions. It’s good to mention there are a couple of songs like Ride the Wild and It’s a Hectic World that has been re-recorded. The first session was in 2002, and the second one was in 2020. Also, this is the only material since Everything Sucks that the “classic” lineup of Milo Aukerman, Frank Navetta, Tony Lombardo, and Bill Stevenson had recorded anything together.

9th & Walnut got the name by the practice space in a garage at the corner of 9th and Walnut in Hermosa Beach, where Descendents used to rehearse back in the days. The album contains eighteen energetic melodic punk rock compositions performed entirely in their recognizable manner. 9th & Walnut sounds and appears just like every die-hard Descendents fan would wish of the Descendents to sound nowadays. It contains the right amounts of melodies, harmonies, dynamics, aggression, and anything else you ever needed from the band you dearly love for so long. 9th & Walnut captures the spirit of the late seventies and early eighties power pop-infused LA punk rock, drenched into generous servings of hardcore punk music. It’s a specific type of energy that only Descendents can produce, and you’ll probably never stumble upon a similar artist or a band with the same qualities. This full-length contains all the ingredients of any other classic from their impressive back catalog and could easily pair with their best recordings. Milo Aukerman sounds fierce but still carries a dosage of emotiveness in his vocal performance, while Bill Stevenson bursts with pure energy through his recognizable drumming acrobatics. Both Tony Lombardo and late Frenk Navetta offer maneuvers they become famous for, so this material represents the pure Descendents performance we will ever have the chance to listen to.

9th & Walnut comes in countless different vinyl variants, so preserve your copy as fast as possible. Head over to Epitaph Records, Kingsroad Merch, or your local record dealer and grab this gem.

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