Descendents - Hallraker: Live! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Hallraker: Live! (1989)


Hallraker: Live! is quite possibly the least essential release in the Descendents’ discography, a record only for the completists.

In 1989, after Bill Stevenson, Karl Alvarez and Stephen Egerton had already released an album with Dave Smalley under the ALL moniker, SST released a companion piece to Liveage! Some of these songs were also recorded during the Liveage! date, while others were taken from another show on the same ’87 tour in Berkeley, California. The two albums share no overlapping songs, which is impressive. However, it also shows how superior Liveage! is. Hallraker is never going to be remembered in any capacity other than the second live album recorded at the same time.

While there are plenty of great songs on Hallraker, it suffers from being the last Descendents album you’d ever pick up. If you’re looking for “I Like Food” or “Kabuki Girl,” you’re not looking for the Hallraker: Live! version. In 1989, this release may have seemed like a good idea in theory. But since the Descendents got back together, this does not serve as a final piece in the puzzle. Thankfully. Instead it’s been regulated to the back of the bunch. Because while Liveage! served as a tribute, Hallraker: Live! felt more like a B-sides album at best. At absolute worst, it was a cash grab from a then-defunct band that people loved.