Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Descendents – Milo Goes To College

Milo Goes to College


I’ve been in quite the musical drought lately.  Everything I’ve listened to recently hasn’t caught my ear quite the way I would want it to.  That isn’t to say none of it is good, I’ve just struggled to find anything Ripple-worthy in a couple months.  This lead to my decision to review one of my favorite punk albums ever, Milo Goes To College by The Descendents.  When making my Top 5 albums, this is one that just missed the cut, and I have been listening to it very frequently as of late, so I figured why not write about it?

The Descendents are a melodic hardcore punk band from California, birthed during the great hardcore period of 1981-1985.  Their debut album, Milo Goes To College, was released in 1982, and is chock full of that classic California punk sound.  There are 15 tracks in a succinct 22 minutes, assaulting you with classic tracks like “Myage”, “I’m Not A Loser”, “Suburban Home”, “Hope”, and pretty much every other track on the album. 

The album launches off with "Myage, a track, like many others on this album, that is a song about Milo liking a girl, but there is no reciprocation.  However, what the Descendents manage to bring to the table besides Milo’s awesome vocals are very humorous lyrics to shout along with.  A perfect example is Milo’s intro to "Suburban Home", where he cheekily and lackadaisically announces, “I want to be stereotyped.  I want to be classified.”  The lyrics for the rest of the track are as follows:

I wanna be stereotyped, I wanna be classified
I wanna be a clone, I want a suburban home
Suburban home
Suburban home
Suburban home
I wanna be masochistic, I wanna be a statistic
I wanna be a clone, I want a suburban home
Suburban home
Suburban home
Suburban home
I don't want no hippie pad, I want a house just like mom and dad
I wanna be stereotyped
I wanna be classified
I wanna be masochistic
I wanna be a statistic
I wanna be a clone
I want a suburban home
Suburban home
Suburban home
Suburban home
Lyrics like this are a constant recurring theme with the Descendents, with the main subjects being girls, rejection, girls, adolescence, girls, parents, and…well, girls.

The other thing that is not to be understated with the Descendents is the original line-ups technical proficiency with their instruments, specifically Tony Lombardo with his bass.  He provides the intro to most of the songs, and all throughout you can hear his riffs shredding up the background of all the tracks on the album.  Also, Milo has one of the most unique voices ever to hit the hardcore punk scene, flowing along perfectly with the instrumentation.

Unfortunately, after this album, Milo did indeed go to college in 1983, thus ending the Descendents reign in California until 1987 when he graduated.  However, things were never the same after he came back, and none of their albums can really come close to what Milo Goes To College achieved.  However, Milo Aukerman went on to get a Ph.D. in biochemistry from UC San Diego, so at least some good came out of his departure.


--Genesis



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