The Descendents - Ride the Wild/It's a Hectic World (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Descendents

Ride the Wild/It's a Hectic World (1979)


Aside from being the first thing that the Descendents band ever put out, is there really anything else to say about this single? Recorded before iconic frontman Milo Aukerman actually joined the band, the single features former band members Frank Navetta and Tony Lombardo as the lead vocalists for the first and last time in the band’s history. The sound of “Ride the Wild” is more new wave and surf than anything else, the very genres we would find them mocking on Milo Goes to College three years later (“I’m a new waver/My girlfriend’s a surfer…”).

“Ride the Wild” isn’t that interesting of a song and the A-side and B-side of this single should really have been swapped, as “It’s a Hectic World” is clearly the better song. Written by Tony Lombardo, the band’s original bassist, it contains one of his trademark bass riffs to start off the song. Lombardo was always very good at catching your attention early in the song with a really killer bass riff, and that bass riff is the best thing this whole single has going for it, as even the guitar and drums on “It’s a Hectic World” can best be described as pedestrian.

The Descendents had the beginning of something good with their original line-up that recorded this single, but it was going to take the addition of Milo Aukerman to really invigorate the group and bring them to a place where they could make some of their most memorable work. Without Aukerman, the “Ride the Wild”/”It’s a Hectic World” single remains notable only as a novelty, a footnote in the history of a band that would become great, but who weren’t quite there yet.