Why you should blame the Descendents for ruining punk rock.


Alright dicks…before you start calling me a heritic, blasphemer, or even worse, a sad old man who won’t let go of the past, think about this for a second…

Who is it that every new(ish) band that you loathe cites as a huge influence? Give up? Need more time? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the fucking Descendents.

First things first, I WORSHIP the Descendents. “Clean Sheets” might be the most perfectly crafted pop-punk song of all time. I will debate this at length with anyone. I just have a small bone to pick, that’s all (i totally said “small bone” duuuh, huh, huh…).

Now obviously music evolves. New sub-generas come and go, stars fade and so on, and so forth… One thing remains consistent: The classics never die. Want proof? I saw a Descendents reunion gig earlier this year (matter of fact it was their first L.A. area show since ’97) and it was transcendent. It was pure and urgent just like punk rock was meant to be.

It felt like being in the perfect vagina; Sweaty, slightly smelly, tons of fun and somewhat over-priced.

The point I’m trying to make is that even though they’ve influenced everyone from Green Day to Good Charlotte, they were/are authentic. If you don’t realize this, simply by just listening, then I officially ban you from returning to this site.

We’re all highly aware that imitation “is the best form of flattery” and all that jazz, but it seems that the newer, incoming class of punk kids are imitating the imitators. These new groups are ripping off bands that already ripped off bands like the Descendents. Listen…I’m not old enough to have experienced the real thing when it happened, but at least I was alive during it, and have some sort of perspective on what it meant to commit yourself to a mohawk, or a studded belt.

We’ve gone from ironically wanting a “Suburban Home” just like mom and dad, to dreaming about the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, and these little ragamuffins are 100% serious about it. Scary right? Whatever happened to honest passion for rebellion? I see it here and there in certain scenes, but there’s just so much damned product out there, it’s hard to notice that it still exists at all.

“Oh yeah old guy, we have Rise Against. They fight for…like…um…causes and stuff.”

Really? I could plug one end of a guitar cable into a Marshall half-stack, and the other end in my ass, fart, and it would have a more believable and sincere socio-political message. I guarantee it.

Pop-Punk pretty much traces it’s roots back to the Descendents (maybe the Ramones, but I always got more of a 60’s surf-rock vibe from them). In some form or another, we have them to thank for audio-cancer like Blink-182, A Day To Remember, Sum 41, etc…(i’m sure the earliest set who listened to nothing but the Germs and Fear used bitch and moan too. meh, whatever…)

On the other hand, maybe I should just simply thank them for being themselves…doing what they did and providing a blueprint. It’s easy to forget that they were emotional, relatable, unpretentious, driven and pretty damn original for their time.

Before the Ramones, Descendents, Flag, Fugazi, etc… I listened to nothing but Michael Jackson and Weird Al Yankovic (both awesome, I know…but you get the point). Something tells me that the aforementioned groups probably did more for me in the personal developement area than Mike and Weird Al. And, I am extremely grateful for that. This music is personal to me, it’s more than just a “scene” or background music.

I guess there might be some truth to the point that I’m nothing but a grouchy, old (32 year-old) ex-rebel who wears a suit and tie to work. Maybe THIS is what I’m actually angry about. Maybe I’m just jealous of the kids today paying obvious homage to the people that I looked up to, while trying to start something new themselves (even if it’s been done a million times before). Damn. Looks like I just came full circle. Who’s the douche now?

I’m basically this guy:

The deli in my ass makes a better pastrami than this!

Ahhhh…fuck it. At least I’m old enough to rent a car.

Either way, I’m getting sleepy now… The Chief Domestic Officer isn’t home yet. Maybe she ran off with some dude with guy-liner, a geometrical haircut and a lower lip piercing. Actually, I gotta give the Mrs. a little more credit than that.

Afterall…she did marry yours truly.

This is Mike Apathy signing off, and going to bed.