Descendents: Hypercaffium Spazzinate review – bratty but wistful punk


Thirty-four years on from their debut album, Milo Goes to College, California punk stalwarts Descendents still seem resistant to the idea of growing up – for good or ill. It’s difficult not to wince at the puerile title of their seventh album, which has been accused of being disablist (defenders of the band have argued that the problematic word has a different meaning in the US). More agreeable is the band’s sound, which has maintained a pleasing balance of wistfulness and brattishness, even if singer Milo Aukerman’s concerns have moved on from bullying at school to heart disease (No Fat Burger). An ability to switch seamlessly from bruising hardcore to sunbursts of pop melody always marked Descendents out from the SoCal crowd, and that’s still the case here, with the snarling Limiter rubbing up against the doo-wop harmonies of Smile. At a time when some punk bands have struggled to summon old glories, staying the same feels like a victory.

Without Love by Descendents on YouTube


Gwilym Mumford

The GuardianTramp

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