Punk fans rejoice; legendary punk band Descendents are back! Five years since their last release, the band dropped their new album 9th & Walnut. The band formed in the heights of the punk era, in the ‘70s, and to be honest, their sound has mostly remained the same on the album, but with a little more hardcore influences this time around.
While the album has 18 songs, it’s only about 25 minutes long. So these songs are short and to the point. It’s something classic punk songs are known for. The hard guitars, the vocals are still half melodic-half screamed and the lyrics are still sharp and easy to scream along to when on your fifth beer. The hardcore sound of the band becomes especially clear in their track “Grudge.” The iconic baseline in the back is just so hypnotic and perfectly executed that it brings back memories of the band’s legendary Milo Goes To College. The lyrics are witty, like the chorus: “Mad enough to look back at you/ Mad enough to shoot back at you/ Mad enough to look back at you/ Mad enough, I’ve had enough of/ Grudge!”
Going back to baselines, “Nightage” also delivers some bass magic. The guitar solo right before the outro will definitely send some fans into punk heaven. It’s short, but it hits all the right spots. “Tired of Being Tired” serves some lyrics that are probably relatable to most people, especially Millenials and Gen Z. “Tired of being tired/ bored of being bored/ Tired of being stared at, tired of being ignored/ By you.” Who doesn’t feel beat down after the last year and a half? “Lullaby” might also hit a little too close to home for people these days. The whole notion that people know everything you do and probably judge is something most people can identify with quickly. It’s a short song but again, very on point.
“It’s a Hectic World” combines sweet baselines, fast-paced guitars and drums with perfectly matching lyrics. Songs like these show the songwriting talent of Descendents. It just flows organically, and everyone can find a song or line they can find some comfort in or at least can take to the heart. “To Remember” is a little melancholic and reflective, given it is in the title. The track is definitely a little more tamed than the rest of the album.
How many words rhyme with hair? A lot, just listen to “It’s My Hair.” The song is probably one of the most extraordinary songs on the album—no chorus and no verses, just somewhat chaotic and true punk. People who are into lyrics, these are definitely worth looking up online.
Given that Descendents are punk icons and a must for a young fan, this album has everything their fans needed: remarkable instrumentals, aka amazing baselines, great lyrics and then, all in all, some musical anarchy. 9th & Walnut shows that the band has not lost their edge one bit. They still produce powerful punk sounds and just keep building their legacy.