9th and Walnut
9th and Walnut is a great concept – the three original Descendents dusting off their earliest songs, keeping the same arrangements, and enlisting Milo Aukerman to provide vocals. The album shows the band from 1977 up to 1980, with a couple songs that would be on the Fat EP, the rest largely forgotten.
There are hints of the Descendents to come – “Nightage” could comfortably fit on Milo Goes to College, and the opening riff on “Sailor’s Choice” sounds like an early version of “Kabuki Girl.” Songs like “I’m Shaky” and “Mohicans” show the power pop that always made up a good portion of the Descendents’ best songs. You can hear elements of the Ramones as well as ’60s rock and pop, especially with the inclusion of a cover of the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over,” which is always a good idea.
The majority of the songs are under two minutes and packed with hooks – seriously, listen to “Nightage” or “I’m Shaky” once and they’ll stay in your head for days. While it was probably difficult for the band members to keep the simple arrangements on the songs, it was the right choice and these simple, catchy songs highlight the tunefulness and pop mastery of the Descendents to come. Perfect pop record for summer. Play it at all your cookouts and beach outings.