Hypercaffium Spazzinate [Deluxe Edition]

Descendents

Epitaph, 2016

http://descendents.tumblr.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/18/2016

Forget the awful title, this is one of the best records of the year. 12 years after their last album, the Descendents has returned with their strongest set of songs in years and in doing so, have managed to make all these other returning punk bands (Good Charlotte, blink-182) look like absolute chumps!

On this disc, the Descendents has taken the time-tested formula that made them the great band they already were and added in themes about the tests and trials of life, such as health issues, having children, and just generally growing up in a way that only the members of the Descendents could do. “Shameless Halo” is one of the best songs of the year, and one of their best tracks since 1997’s “Lucky.” It’s just classic sounding punk without the pop sheen that’s so prevalent these days. “Limiter” is a great track and the album’s real standout, written by Milo about his son and ADHD drugs, and more specifically, not being able to achieve. As someone who was on ADHD drugs for half his life, the song really speaks to me and, in my opinion, is one of the best songs in the Descendents’ catalog. Meanwhile, “Victim Of Me” is a great 2016 Descendents track and a song that other reunited punk bands should look to in order to see how to properly do this reunion thing right.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“No Fat Burger” shows a band trying their best to grow up, still wanting to enjoy food but having to watch what they eat. It’s a great hardcore track for the 21st century. “We Got Defeat” is another quick ripper of a track that will remind many of old-school Descendents and why they love the band in the first place. “Without Love” is a bit of a detour, but it still sounds fantastic and is a great addition to the band’s oeuvre.

“Smile” is just a great song. Nothing more really needs to be said! Just listen to it and you’ll know what I’m talking about. “Beyond The Music” is a great track that defines the band’s friendships beyond their lineup. You won’t hear songs like this from All Time Low, Escape The Fate, Pierce The Veil, or whatever the kids are listening to these days. This is real punk rock, the ONLY punk rock!

The final five tracks on this deluxe edition come from an EP and are best left off the record because they’re not that great or notable. Other than those songs, however, this record is perfect and is a top candidate for album of the year. The only reason for giving it an A- rating is the inclusion of the unnecessary bonus tracks.

Rating: A-

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