Descendents - 9th & Walnut (Cover Artwork)


9th & Walnut (2021)


Southern California legends the Descendents have unvaulted an array of time capsules in 9th & Walnut, offering 40 year old songwriting captured, some 20 years before it's release.

The 2002 session seems to have stemmed from bassist Tony Lombardo and late guitarist Frank Navetta's reuniting with drummer Bill Stevenson for a showcase of the "original trio" at Stevenson's Stockage festival in Fort Collins. The result, bringing in vocalist Milo Aukerman, was a crystal clear mix of 15 songs that shed light into the band's earliest origins. "We recorded a whole bunch of songs, mostly Frank's songs," Lombardo stated previously. "He was a great songwriter, he had such a unique EQ out of his amp."

The fifteen tracks, joined with later rerecordings of the band's first two singles "Ride the Wild," "It's A Hectic World," and a great cover of Dave Clark Five's "Glad All Over" zip by, with the average song duration somewhere around ninety seconds or so. As usual, the sonic quality, compliments of Stevenson and the Blasting Room, is top notch.

The lineup sounds as tight as ever as well, and as it is to be expected from such early writing, some of the lyrical content is a smidge immature. Songs like "You Make Me Sick" or "Yore Disgusting" are as simplistic and predictable as their titles, but there are also some great gems. "Nightage" is a fantastic concentration of riffs, odd time signatures, and expert snare rolls from Stevenson. "Tired of Being Tired" is another stand out, with more spastic guitar/bass walks and a big melodic chorus, these songs would have fit perfectly on any of the bands earlier full lengths.

9th & Walnut, named affectionately after one of their very first rehearsal spaces in Long Beach, is a cool release, and a must have for any long term fan of the Descendents and their legacy. Much recommend.