Monday, February 14, 2005

Descendents: Enjoy!

New Alliance LP, 1986

With a few notable exceptions, punk rock isn't exactly known for love songs. Can someone name one Dischord band song that was about girls? We all know that Steve Jones got plenty of dates but the Sex Pistols were most notably NOT about sex. Even today's remnants of the genre like Green Day and Blink 182 find it hard to keep a straight face when singing about love and heartbreak. And while early rock bands formed as a means for skinny geeky kids to get laid, punk rockers as Descendents singer Milo Aukerman explained: "just wanted to have an outlet to express our frustration at not getting laid." Although not many would want to admit this.

This third album from L.A.'s Descendents is mostly populated with suck-ups to Black Flag ("Sour Grapes"), a half-baked attempt at composing an "Institutionalized" type epic song ("Days Are Blood") and, for this band, the normal puerile hijinks (songs about farting, coffee and punk-clique angst) abound. At least they didn't have nasty songs about "fat girls" ("No Fat Beaver") like their previous efforts.

But inserted in the flatuence, er, flat songs are some some genuine girl songs, even dare we say love songs. They might have been better advised to chuck all the other cuts and put out a 4-song EP of just the "girl songs" -- these are the most memorable and surprisingly (almost) stand the test of time. Perhaps they could have called it Milo Doesn't Get Laid.


"Get The Time" - Boy meets girl (a girl who has a Husker Du collection!)
"Cheer" - Boy gets girl (quinessential punk love song)
"Wendy" - Boy loses girl (Beach Boys cover)

Buy Enjoy! (Froogle)
DESCENDENTSonline - The boys reunited in 2004 for a new album Cool To Be You. Fat Wreck Records has some MP3s. Check out "Nothing With You" for yet another Descendent love song (of sorts).
DrumOgre - Bill Stevenson's website
Studly Milo Get Interviewed by Playboy (source of the Milo quote above)
AMG Review of Enjoy!
Eric from Something I Learned mines the cynical side of punk rock love songs

Disclaimer: All songs are recorded straight from vinyl with all pops and clicks intact. If you want clean cuts, well buy the friggin' CD. These songs is posted for discussion and educational purposes under Fair Use. We think that education can better allow people to make informed decisions, thus elevating their experience with musical consumerism, so please leave some comments. The best way to support artists is to go to their live shows and buy their recordings directly from them. Songs are up for about two weeks - the typical life of a posting - or if we run out of webspace. We do not kizzy an archive of our songs fo' sheezy.


Anonymous said...

Love love love Vinyl Mine. I even love it more with this Descendents post. Thanks for making my V-Day fantastic!!!

Anonymous said...

cool post, great 'wendy' cover. 'all summer long' by the beach boys is such an underappreciated treasure. As is Milo Goes to College. If only everyone was required to own both!

Eric said...

Jim... thanks for the link. As for the Descendents all you really need is "Milo Goes To College" and the live albums - the production on "Enjoy" and "Grow Up" is lousy, though the songs are pretty good. I always liked the live version of these songs better (the live version of "Wendy" is one of all time favorites)

Of course, this album is worth it just for "Enjoy". I can think of no other song crafted solely for crowing about gas.