Descendents
Hypercaffium Spazzinate


3.5
great

Review

by PostMesmeric USER (84 Reviews)
July 29th, 2016 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It has its moments of running in circles, but Hypercaffium Spazzinate feels young, even when the men behind it aren’t.

2016 is the year of the Pop Punk Midlife Crisis. The snot-nosed brats of Good Charlotte and Blink-182 have limped their way to adulthood with some of the year’s driest rock albums. Earlier this year, Yellowcard announced that they’re calling it a day after a final tour, while Sum 41 will drop out another record in October. With The Offspring and Green Day already caving to their old age, it seems like the entire genre is in disarray. 2016 is a revelation for the pop punk groups of the 90’s and 2000’s, and that revelation is that they’re on life support. Old age and youthful pop punk music never got along with each other, contradicting themselves with awkward halfways that make the transition into adulthood feel jarring. The irony of this" The Descendents, a band that has influenced practically every aging pop punk group of that era, has managed to make an album more energetic, more graceful, and more enjoyable than all of those bands. Combined.

The Descendents are still considered cornerstones in the age of pop punk, giving influence to all of the Warped Tour staples of the 90’s and 2000’s. Their midlife crisis has already passed, and going in, I expected this album to meander in the same ways that The Offspring, or more recently, Blink-182 has. But Hypercaffium Spazzinate is not dad punk. This album still has energy, recapturing much of the humor and hotheaded eloquence that brought pop punk into the mainstream. Bassist Karl Alvarez and drummer Bill Stevenson keep the punk rhythms at a comfortably accelerated pace, rarely bringing things down to even mid-tempo. Stephen Egerton delivers the abrasive power chords like a champ, as Milo Aukerman wails atop them. It’s remarkable that a band as venerable as The Descendents can stamp a date on their peers, all while delivering pop punk music that recaptures the bouncing spirit of its prime years. Defying all odds, Hypercaffium Spazzinate is awake and alive.

But The Descendents have taken their adulthood much more elegantly than many of their peers and followers. Even when tackling their own leering maturity, the boys show plenty of ideas. “No Fat Burger” is a 43-second ode to fatty fast food that they no longer can eat, a joyously relatable song for anyone who is forced to watch their cholesterol in their maturity. “Fighting Myself” offers a poetically tongue-in-cheek chorus as Aukerman sings “I should have known fresh dirt won't wash old stains away.” Even more serious tracks like “Unchanged” or the cheesy “band family” track “Beyond the Music” show a band in stride and not burnout. “Comeback Kid” is a real gem, with its endearing lyrics and great balance of sincerity and adolescent volatility. The Descendents are still making punk music, just with their adulthood along for the ride. It’s astonishing to see these kinds of topics being articulated through the lens of pop punk, catchy choruses and power chord blitzes intact. This is a group that’s retained their youthful, devil-may-care attitude, even in their 50’s, and in a time when old age is omnipresent in the genre, that’s pretty damn impressive.

Sadly, even with such energetic bursts of intrigue, Hypercaffium Spazzinate does feel bloated. Songs like “We Got Defeat” and “Limiter” are uninteresting on their own, while the final five or so tracks (all from the Spazzhazard EP, which is included on the deluxe edition of Hypercaffium Spazzinate) show plenty of fatigue. Later tracks also lack more of the goofy verbosity heard in tracks like “On Paper” or “No Fat Burger.” By the time the album gets into its final stretch, every wrinkle is on display, and it becomes much harder to look past them. As solid as a track as “Unchanged” is, it simply can’t reach its best potential with 20 tracks before it. While it’s great to see The Descendents still pushing out two-minute crowdpleasers, there are admittedly spinning wheels aplenty on Hypercaffium Spazzinate. There is some fat that could’ve been trimmed.

In a year where every group in the pop punk field is experiencing their own midlife crisis, leave it to the old guard of the genre to produce an album with actual guts. The Descendents haven’t reinvented the wheel on Hypercaffium Spazzinate, instead sticking to their guns and staying the course. While Hypercaffium Spazzinate has its share of filler, it still feels lively and the better moments outshine the duds. Between endearing anthems like “Comeback Kid” and off-kilter poetry of “Shameless Halo”, The Descendents capture so much of the awkward passion that the entire pop punk subgenre built itself on. It’s funny. It’s catchy. It’s a great balance of energy, sincerity, and charisma that shows the jaded pop punk scene how to deal with your maturity without running yourself dry. It has its moments of running in circles, but Hypercaffium Spazzinate feels young, even when the men behind it aren’t.



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user ratings (128)
Chart.
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
PostMesmeric
July 29th 2016


745 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't expect to enjoy this this much. Let me know what you all think. Appreciate it.

Risodo
July 29th 2016


652 Comments


Nice review.
Sounded young to me too, and that's the high point.

SandwichBubble
July 29th 2016


9548 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Didn't expect to enjoy this this much [2]



Honestly expected to rate this a 2 or 1.5. joke's on me though, this isn't that bad.



Good review, posss.

elliootsmeuth
July 29th 2016


3706 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. Enjoyed this more than I thought.

LotusFlower
July 29th 2016


12001 Comments


I forgot they had a new album coming out.

Sinternet
July 30th 2016


19127 Comments


heard one of the tracks and it sounded pretty good, will check later

Digging: Marina - LOVE

danielcardoso
July 30th 2016


11770 Comments


Had no idea they had stuff coming out, gonna check this.

LouisValentino
July 30th 2016


17 Comments


So this is OK?

erizen826
July 30th 2016


855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album rules.

Spec
July 30th 2016


35669 Comments


this actually sounds pretty good

DatsNotDaMetulz
July 30th 2016


3827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think Sum 41 might just about avoid this midlife crises. They had that with Screaming Bloody Murder and Deryck's health problems. 13 Voices is teeing up to be more of a comeback. Although we've only heard one track so far.

rufinthefury
July 31st 2016


3093 Comments


oh shit i have to cop this

conditionals
September 23rd 2016


555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

My issue with this review is that the actual album ends with 'Beyond the Music', so I wouldn't count the added EP tracks as bloat.





danielcardoso
September 23rd 2016


11770 Comments


glad to see this didn't turn out terrible.

LotusFlower
September 29th 2016


12001 Comments


Shameless Hero jams hard.

buch4z0
October 22nd 2016


6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

We Got Defeat and Limiter are awesom tracks!

danielcardoso
December 23rd 2016


11770 Comments


Not bad but a not a lot of replay value either imo.

sonictheplumber
July 19th 2018


10378 Comments


had no idea this existed



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