Descendents released a political-minded single called Suffrage, with full band versions of “Hindsight 2020” and “On You.” Epitaph Records put the single out digitally and uploaded lyric videos for each track to YouTube.
The songs were originally released earlier this month by frontman Milo Aukerman as ukulele renditions under the alias RebUke. Another song was released called “Royal Flush,” featuring Rotten James Dio, but it didn’t make the cut for Suffrage.
Both songs are classic punk rock. “Hindsight 2020 – It’s crystal clear/Hindsight 2020 – The last four years/We the people made a mistake,” Aukerman sings at the start of the first track. A final verse closes with the lines, “A lotta people say, ‘I don’t care who it is’/A fucking bum on the corner would be better than our fake prez.” It’s energetic with a busy bassline, rolling drum fills and a climactic guitar solo underneath Aukerman’s impassioned vocals.
“On You” is more melody-driven, but otherwise fairly similar instrumentally to “Hindsight 2020,” complete with another guitar solo. The hook centers around the refrain, “This one’s on you.” Aukerman’s lyrics end with a sarcastic summation of the message, “I’d like to thank you for your loyal chanting of the brand, yeah/I’d like to thank you for your vote against your own self-interest/I’d like to thank you, all the oxymorons of false reality/This one’s on you.”
An animation on each of the videos shows ballots being placed in a ballot box. Aukerman said the songs were originally meant for Descendents’ next album, but he wanted to release them before the U.S. presidential election, according to a press release. “…These songs are my personal attempts to turn the page on our national nightmare…if only I could will it through music.”
“I’ve spent most of my punk rock life avoiding the temptation to write political songs; it always seemed like politics is the obvious go-to subject of punk and thus not of interest to me,” Aukerman is quoted in a press release. “Unfortunately, after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election I find myself virtually unable to write songs about anything else.”
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat