If you're reading this then I don't need to explain just how good or how important the Descendents are. Tomorrow their first album in twelve years (Hypercaffium Spazzinate) if officially released. I decided to look back at their extensive and amazing discography and try and pick my ten favourite Descendents songs.
10. Hope from Milo Goes To College (1983)
Of course, it's the Descendents so it's a song about girls. Specifically it's about patiently waiting for the girl you want, who happens to be with somebody else. The lyrics are instantly catchy, particularly the hook of the song - "My Day Will Come, I Know Someday I'll Be The Only One."
9. Suburban Home from Milo Goes To College (1983)
Suburban Home is a sarcastic attack on what can be thought of the stereotypical, cookie cutter lifestyle. There is a lot of punk rock spite in Milo's voice on this track and along with the hard and fast guitars and drumming have made this a classic punk rock tune.
8. Descendents from I Don't Wanna Grow Up (1985)
This self titled song is the first song on I Don't Wanna Grow Up and is a bit of a call of arms from the band. Milo and co are looking for new members for the band and lay down what it's like to be a Descendent and what it takes to become a member of the group. The lines "We're The Proud, The Few, Descendents Rockin' Alone Tonight" is still one of the Descendents most recognisable.
7. Clean Sheets from ALL (1987)
ALL was the first Descendents album I ever heard and Clean Sheets was one of the stand out tracks. This is one of the more melodic of the Descendents earlier work. The song tackles the subject of staying in a relationship despite suspecting that your partner has cheated on you. I really love Milo's vocals on this song, there is a sadness about them that is rarely heard.
6. Thank You from Everything Sucks (1996)
Everything Sucks was the Descendents first album in nine years and was an instant classic. Thank You is a song thanking the power that music has to make you feel better. This verse in particular really gets to me every time I hear it - "Did You Know You're Why I Go, And Waste My Time, At A Rock N Roll Show, You Let Me Know I'm Not Alone, You Make Me Feel Strong, Make Me Feel Strong, Feel Like Nothing's Wrong."
5. I Don't Wanna Grow Up from I Don't Wanna Grow Up (1985)
Starting out with a strong bass line, I Don't Wanna Grow Up is a short and sweet Descendents classic. Completely obviously from the song title the song is about not wanting to grow up. Throughout their career the Descendents (on this occasion former bassist Tony Lombardo) have shown just what smart songwriters they are. On this occasion the child like "Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah'" performed like a spoilt child work perfectly with the message of the song.
4. Cool To Be You from Cool To Be You (2004)
After an long eight year break the band returned again with another amazing album in Cool To Be You. The album's title track was one of the stand outs on the album. The song is about being envious of another person whilst feeling like an outcast yourself. The Descendents have always had an ability to make their music relatable to their fans and this was still the case twenty-five years into their career.
3. 'Merican from Cool To Be You (2004)
'Merican became an anthem for me from the very first moment I heard it. During the summer when Cool To Be You was released my friendship group would go to the beach every Monday and listen to the same mix CD. 'Merican was on that CD and was listened to a lot. It's a political song, something that I wasn't too used to the Descendents doing and at the time it really struck me with a lot of "WOAH!"
2. When I Get Old from Everything Sucks (1996)
The majority of Descendents songs are about three different things - girls, struggling to fit in and growing up. When I Get Old obviously fits into the growing up part. The song addresses the dilemmas of getting older and hoping that you can still hang on to the things of your youth that you loved. It's a slower song from the Descendents but still captures everything I love about the band. The song brilliantly captures where the band, and probably the long time fans of the band, are at the particular time of their lives. Brilliant.
1. Coolidge from ALL (1987)
Coolidge is the first Descendents song that I truly fell in love with. Beginning with a great drum roll that gets you really pumped up for the song and being joined from some trademark Descendents guitar before Milo sings the immortal worlds "I'm Not A Cool Guy Anymore, As If I Ever Was Before." Coolidge is a really up-tempo song that is full of an infectious energy. If I was ever going to write a perfect pop punk song then this would be it.
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