Descendents – “Baby Doncha Know”
It’s been 40 years since the great California punk band Descendents released their first EP, which means it’s been 39 years since they first broke up. After the band released 1982’s Milo Goes To College, a foundational classic of snotty melodic hardcore, frontman Milo Aukerman went to college, and the other members of the band formed All. In 1995, Aukerman returned to the band, and they’ve been intermittently active since then. Earlier this year, the band released the Trump-baiting tantrum “That’s The Breaks.” Yesterday, they replaced NOFX as headliners at Las Vegas’ Punk Rock Bowling festival, in light of Fat Mike’s onstage joke about the Vegas mass shooting a few years ago. And today, Descendents announced a new album, and it’ll dig deep into the band’s long history.
The new Descendents LP 9th & Walnut isn’t an album of new songs like 2016’s Hypercaffium Spazzinate. Instead, it’s a collection of the songs that the band wrote in the few years after they formed in 1977, including many that date from the period before Aukerman joined up in 1980. Descendents started working on these re-recordings in 2002, and they feature bassist Frank Navetta, who died of diabetes in 2008. The band abandoned the project after Navetta’s death, but they picked it up again and finished it during the pandemic. The album is named after the Long Beach intersection where they used to practice.
Descendents have shared first single “Baby Doncha Know,” a bracingly fast piece of catchy frustration that rockets by in 56 seconds. Talking about the song, drummer Bill Stevenson says:
“Baby Doncha Know” was maybe the fifth song we learned. We would go out to 9th & Walnut every weekend and practice all day. I mainly just remember being in awe of how “a kid my age, who goes to my high school” could have written all these cool songs. Frank seemed to have a maturity beyond his years. I never asked him who or what it was about. I was just happy to be there with him and Tony.
Listen to “Baby Doncha Know” and check out the 9th & Walnut tracklist below.
01 “Sailor’s Choice”
02 “Crepe Suzette”
03 “You Make Me Sick”
06 “Baby Doncha Know”
07 “Tired Of Being Tired”
08 “I’m Shaky”
11 “Like The Way I Know”
12 “It’s A Hectic World”
13 “To Remember”
14 “Yore Disgusting”
15 “It’s My Hair”
16 “I Need Some”
17 “Ride The Wild”
18 “Glad All Over” (Dave Clark Five cover)
9th & Walnut is out 7/23 on Epitaph.