Of course the Everything Sucks cover art looks the same as (almost) all the Descendents other works. What would a Descendents album be without that faithful man on the cover? With his hammerhead glasses, fresh cut spiked hair, and an emotionally dry mouth, he isn"t the prettiest of dudes, but he is an icon to both the underground and pop-punk scenes of America (presumably drawn to look like Descendant"s lead man Milo Auckerman). He is to punk what Eddy (of Iron Maiden"s cover art) is to the Metal scene. The band is arguably as influential as anyone in the genre and for all the right reasons. With the release of their 1st LP, Milo goes to College, Descendents became one of the underground"s most enjoyable punk bands, and with their ferocious riffs and lovably awkward lyrics they were soon catapulted into the spotlight. Many hiatuses, genre changes and rejections later, Milo (the singer) is a biochemist and the band releases one of their most popular LP"s, Everything Sucks, a return to their older years.
Beneath the fast paced riffage and hardcore drumming beats the heart of Descendents. A pop-punk band with heart? Some might scoff at it; say things like "how unoriginal" or "sounds mega pretentious". But with geek-chic in full bloom who could blame them. Many people might not be impressed with Milo"s lyrics, but others know. Even after college, with a successful career, Milo is full of angst. The lyrics to hit single I"m the One show a loveably na"ve soul. Though he is singing about being a caring guy, Milo"s band really speaks for itself. Fast paced almost hardcore punk riffs from guitarist Steven Egerton work"s so well with Milo"s words it"s almost scary. Though the song is nothing brilliant (even on a pop-punk scale) I"m the One is easily one of the most fun singles to come out of the nineties. And other songs don"t far fall from the tree.
As always the bass is extremely well done on Everything Sucks. With the departure of star bassist Tony Lombardo, relative newbie Karl Alvarez had huge shoes to fill on this album. He delivers ten fold with some career work on tracks like Caught, Doghouse and Everything Sux. Though the bass trades bouncy licks with red hot guitars on most tracks it is almost unnoticeable on most tracks without a bass boost. Other than this the album production is fairly smooth considering it was self produced by drummer, Bill Stevenson and Egerton. Some might miss the domestic raw quality of early classics like Fat and Milo Goes to College, and even with the return to the slightly ska pop-core of the early days the album hardly lives up. Tracks like When I Get Old are a perfect example of this phenomenon. The lyrics are un-inspired and, while the music is well done and catchy, it drags. The song is one of the longest on the album at only 2:29, and falters on almost every note possible.
If any song shows that band at top form (as they were in College) it would be Doghouse. Doghouse features some of Milo"s best (if a little forced) lyrics (Now it"s time to go work for the man, I work for the man at the taco stand) and a return to old form. However If I had to pick a song to call the best lyrically it would be the hilarious This Place Sucks. The lyrics are almost godly at some points, though Milo keeps his modest sense of rebellious angst.
Originally Posted by This Place Sucks
I've been slinking through the halls like an unwashed dog
And everybody treats me like a criminal
Talk about me behind my back
At least I don't have a stick up my ass"""""""""I haven't found a single friend in three whole years
'Cause there's nobody here but the bible boys
Talking about their white bread politics
The bass in both mixes is incredibly low, but great if you can hear. Alvarez jumps from fret to fret to fill in guitar gaps and ends feature Milo at up stealing the show. Another of Everything Suck"s quality songs comes in Hateful Notebook, with a more experimental tone to the music, a heavy drumbeat and cool fuzzed up guitars. Again they his absolute best, lyrically and vocally, he creates hooks and keeps a cool tone the whole time.
Originally Posted by Hateful Notebook
SUCH A HATEFUL LITTLE GIRL
HER LITTLE BOOK IS HER WHOLE WORLD
SHE'S WRITING IN HER LITTLE BOOK, SHE DON'T LIKE ME
BUT SHE'S GOT ME HOOKED
AND I CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER
WHAT SHE'S LIKE BETWEEN THE COVERS
This album, while not the best from the Descendents features many great songs. The first half seems a little disappointing, but the second brings the heat. Surprisingly enough it"s the second half that ventures farther from the time tested formula, proving the Descendents are much more than a pop-punk band. The album ends with the pseudo cheesy Thank You and deserves a solid 3/5.