Valby Hallen, Copenhagen, DEN - 26/4
Written by: PP on 27/09/2016 23:22:43
One album per decade has been the motto of punk rock legends Descendents ever since their four-album streak between 1982 and 1987. You'd imagine their fan base shrinking and relevancy questionable at such a slow rate of releases, but yet both 1996's "Everything Sucks" and 2004's "Cool To Be You" are revered as iconic classics within the genre. If anything, these albums reminded us about the roots of skate punk and contain numerous timeless riffs and melodies that have retained their status as fan-favorites even as decades pass by. Seventh studio album "Hypercaffium Spazzinate", their first one in twelve years, continues that pattern and serves as a reminder that Descendents are as vital as they ever have been within the genre.
Featuring their signature skate punk sound presented in a great production that perfectly balances their edgy guitars with the crisp, fine-tuned polish of modern production values, the Descendents sound is so timeless that it doesn't really age. From the weird "Coffee Mug" style aggressive hardcore undertones ("No Fat Burger", "Human Being) to the infectiously catchy vocal melodies of "Smile", "Without Love" or "Shameless Halo", Descendents deliver an energetic high-tempo punk rock record where practically the only thing that has changed since 1996 is an improvement in recording techniques. It's an album that oozes of youthful exuberance, enthusiasm for punk rock as sound and a lifestyle, and one that showcases everything from smooth bass licks - just listen to opener "Feel This" or the playful scale on "Victim Of Me" - through instantly catchy sing-alongs ("Full Circle") and scene credible lyricism ("Beyond The Music").
They still draw constant parallels to the beloved early 90s soundscape of Bad Religion (see: "Spineless And Scarlet Red", for instance) as well as to Swingin' Utters for anyone not up to date on what Descendents sound like in their current incarnation, but that's because they've been a primary influence sonically and in terms of songwriting to most, if not all, punk bands still around today. "Hypercaffium Spazzinate" is rammed with fantastic vocal melodies, tight, classic riffs, and a signature Descendents sound that only they know how to write best. Speaking of best, expect this one to rank high on end-of-year lists come December, because few punk records are as well executed and as memorable as this banger. No question, Descendents have released another classic work - here's to hoping it doesn't take another decade for the next one.
Download: Victim Of Me, Shameless Halo, Beyond Music, Without Love
For the fans of: Bad Religion, Swingin' Utters, All, Adolescents, NOFX