Like a slightly more sardonic, decidedly Californianized Undertones, the Descendents ran the gamut of adolescent interest, from girls to, uh, girls. And they matched that wide scope with an equally wide array of three-chor... more »d tunes. So why is this such an essential record? One word: Milo. Singer Milo Aukerrman--who really was off to college after recording it--yelps "I'm Not a Punk" and "I'm Not a Loser" with such desperation that it's almost touching. Then again, the nyah-nyah attitude that crops up just about everywhere else marks him as the sorta guy who'd probably pick your pocket as you were looking for a hankie to help dry those eyes. A quintessential American punk document. --David Sprague« less
Like a slightly more sardonic, decidedly Californianized Undertones, the Descendents ran the gamut of adolescent interest, from girls to, uh, girls. And they matched that wide scope with an equally wide array of three-chord tunes. So why is this such an essential record? One word: Milo. Singer Milo Aukerrman--who really was off to college after recording it--yelps "I'm Not a Punk" and "I'm Not a Loser" with such desperation that it's almost touching. Then again, the nyah-nyah attitude that crops up just about everywhere else marks him as the sorta guy who'd probably pick your pocket as you were looking for a hankie to help dry those eyes. A quintessential American punk document. --David Sprague
"I initially wasn't going to write a review on this album since it's legacy speaks for itself... but after seeing another review here where someone ignorantly slagged this album without backing up their diatribe with anything substantial, I just had to jump in and state the obvious... THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST AMERICAN PUNK ROCK RECORDS OF ALL TIME.
The proof is in the pudding... listen for yourself! I mean... maybe if you grew up listening to Aztec Camera then of course you're probably gonna hate this, but I grew up listening to this album.
Short, sweet, simple, and raw is how some of us like it."
Bold and beautiful
Brewzerr | 12/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first purchased the vinyl LP back in 1982, I was already well versed with much of what had come previous by such bands as Black Flag, Necros, MDC, Minor Threat, Negative Approach, SSD, etc...In the early 80's, hardcore punk was raw, frenetic, angry, and urgent.I remember my first impression after listening to this album was that the descendents were perhaps the boldest band during that time. They didn't write songs about how much they hated Reagan or about unity or how much they hated the cops. They wrote songs about unrequitted love and the pressures of being a teen in the suburbs. Not the usual hardcore agenda at all.I went to see them in the fall of 1984 when they came to my town. Again I was floored by their sheer bravado because they looked like 4 nerds!!! But when they took the stage and sang songs such as "Myage" and "Jean is Dead", the entire club nearly came crashing down as the dancefloor became one huge violent whirlpoor of swinging fists and stomping combat boots.The music is raw and passionate, full of yearning. The kind of desperate yearning other aching hearts will surely recognize as undiluted soul seeking truth.Many people regard the descendents as the fathers of modern day punk/brat rock. I disagree. The descendents were the real thing and they stand head and shoulders above all those who would follow decades later, and "Milo Goes to College" is their shining moment in the sun."
Raw, scratchy, underproduced...What more could you want?
kevin yee | franklin, nc | 06/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own "Everything Sucks" and "Cool to be You", both of which I enjoy. Supposedly, this album is legendary and I figured I owe it to myself to check out this early piece of music.
Legendary? Id have to agree. I love albums like this, that dont sound "proper". They seem to have more passion, energy, heart, and geniune feeling. And look at the copyright date...1982. My goodness, I was born in 1982. John Cougar was tearing up airwaves with "Jack and Diane" (great song, by the way), Reagan (RIP) was America's #1 citizen, and "E.T." won Best Picture. Geez, Metallica was barely off the ground. And the punk movement had shifted to the West Coast, as well as D.C., and the music became fused with a more hardcore sound (Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Black Flag). Then out of nowhere comes this band of whiny, snotty kids singing about girls, food, and life in suburbia, which is a little far from life on 53rd and 3rd. And thus, "pop" punk became known to the world.
This album is buzzing with so much energy its hard to contain. If you leave the room to use the bathroom or get a popsicle, youll miss an entire song. Speaking of songs, these are some great cuts. I can listen to this this all the way through. Its short but wholesome. My personal favorites are "Hope", "Myage", "Catalina", "Im Not a Punk", "I Wanna Be a Bear", "Im Not a Loser, "Marriage" and the splendid "Bikeage". Dont allow yourself to skip any of the other tracks, though, because you would be missing out.
Now, I know a lot of people will be turned off by the sound quality and super simple songs and lyrics, but the punk movement was about that, rock and roll stripped down and sped up. I may be living in the past, but would you honestly rather listen to overproduced pop punk bands like Simple Plan who are so NOT punk or listen to a band that is one of the reasons Simple Plan even exists. Make the right choice...you will not regret it."
If you don't like punk, you won't like this...otherwise, thi
Bullfrog | 05/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, I can't stand people who don't like punk and yet insist on writing a review about a punk album just so they can bash the hell out of it, call it "generic", "uninspiried", and "unoriginal" (and any other empty rhetoric you can think of), and feel better about themselves. This is punk. If you don't like punk, then you won't like this, so why bother commenting on it. I don't comment on death metal albums because I don't like death metal. Let punk be already.
With that out of the way, this album is absolutley brilliant. It is a precursor to pop-punk, but make no mistake (as the kid below me did), this does not sound like the "very crappy generic" punk garbage you hear on the radio nowadays. The riffs are fast and edgy, but not as abrasive and harsh as a lot of hardcore bands from the 80s (i.e. Husker Du, Minor Threat, although I like them a lot too). Milo's voice is perfect for the music, and his lyrics, while they seem simple, are actually quite unique and incredible. Songs like "Suburban Home", "Parents", "I'm Not a Loser", and "Bikeage" are all excellent social commentaries about suburban environments, class struggles, and drug addictions. These guys sing about what they know, and they do it well. They didn't sing so they could get on MTV, like all those terrible "punk" bands do today. They're genuinely angst-filled and anger-driven, and should be praised for their musical honesty.
Lastly, yes the song titles have the suffix -age in them and "I'm Not a Punk" and "I'm Not a Loser" do sound like similar titles, but did it ever occur to you, fellow reviewer below, that this was done intentionally, maybe to give the album a sense of unity and continuity. There is such a thing as a theme on a music album, you know, it doesn't exist exclusively in literature. This album isn't overrated. In fact, I think it's underappreciated. Only 80s punk fans and people from SoCal really know about the Descendents, which is just a shame. It's some of the best punk ever made, no question about it. If you like this, get "Everything Sucks" and "I Don't Want to Grow Up"."