“9th and Walnut” is a new 18-track collection featuring Descendents earliest material written from 1977 through 1980. The album includes Descendents’ debut tracks “Ride the Wild” & ”It’s a Hectic World” (heard here for the first time with vocals by Milo), and the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over” with the full Descendents treatment.
There is always a risk when bands decide to rerecord old material. Will it still hold up? Have they progressed past their early style? Will their older siblings embarrass them by showing all his friends the songs they recorded alone in their bedroom on a VHS tape labeled “private, do not watch?”
I can tell you this, “9th and Walnut” is a solid album front to back, and these songs are just as relevant today. Unfortunately for me, I can’t unrecord myself singing pitch-perfect a cappella renditions of “Weird Al” songs in a dimly lit room using the family RCA camcorder. And I certainly can’t erase the memory of my brother and his friends playing the tape and laughing so hard that they all threw up. Then the dog came in and started eating some of the puke, but everyone was still laughing and couldn’t stop the dog from slurping down buckets of Mountain Dew colored puke. You know what happened next; the dog started ralphing all over the place because it had eaten too much barf. Our basement still smells a little sour to this day.
I’m sure nobody is laughing at these Descendents songs, if anything they are already singing along. I wish I were so lucky. The dog spewing wasn’t the end of the story. My dad heard the commotion from upstairs and decided to investigate. When he saw puke all over the newly finished basement floor he blew a fucking gasket. He ran downstairs, as red as a sunburnt tomato, and immediately slipped on a particularly viscous puddle of throw up and he hit the ground so hard that he broke his wrist. I’ve only seen my dad cry on two occasions. One was at his mother’s funeral, the other was when he broke his wrist. We knew it was bad right away, the bone was sticking out and he kept saying “my boss is going to fire me, we are going to lose the house” over and over through the tears.
My dad’s wrist eventually healed. But the mental wounds from being the laughing stock of my town remain. Since that day I haven’t sang. Not even in the shower. But I want you to sing all these Descendents songs. Sing them loud, just don’t record yourself and don’t let my brother find the tape.
Score: 9.8/10 (it would be 10/10, but the song title “You Make Me Sick” is exactly what my mom said to me when she saw the tape of me singing and it still hurts.
Pick up your copy of “9th and Walnut” on 07/23, click here.