The Descendents

Cool to be You (Fat Wreck Chords)

Go back in time and destroy every copy of the Descendents' 1982 Milo Goes to College, and the Warped Tour never happens. Because without that record and the band that made it, there would be no blink-182 and, oh, about 100 other bands. They aren't fawned over and fetishized like the Ramones or the Sex Pistols, but the Descendents are just as important, giving a voice to the suburban punks who didn't know the dress code and couldn't care less about the government or drugs or what the government was doing about drugs. Back then, they just wanted to sing about falling in and out of love and being young and stupid. Still do, actually. They're just not as young or stupid.

The Descendents' pop-punk present is more focused on adult concerns. Such as: how they're "proud and ashamed every Fourth of July" because their country is responsible for both Otis Redding and the Ku Klux Klan ("'Merican"). How it's "easy to make promises when you're dumb in love" but harder to keep them when it means losing your wife, lover and best friend ten years later ("She Don't Care"). How "there's no time to kiss and no room to even breathe" because money and time are so hard to come by ("Anchor Grill"). On "Blast Off" -- as in "toilet seat is your launching pad" -- the band reminds younger listeners that they were the kings of dick-and-fart jokes back when Mark Hoppus and Tom Delonge couldn't get into PG-13 movies. Still, it's strange to see that the guys who titled their 1985 album I Don't Wanna Grow Up finally have. Sort of.

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