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File Under: Punk
rating: A-

1. Nothing With You

2. 'Merican

3. Here With Me

4. I Quit

related links
  • The Descendents
  • Fat Wreck Chords
  • The Descendents

    Fat Wreck Chords
    by Jason Cipriano

    The release of the new 4 track EP 'Merica doesn't just stand for the reemergence of one of the best and most important punk bands of all time. It doesn't just represent four new songs from a band that, had they not gone away for about eight years, may have made the current punk scene tolerable. 'Merican isn't just a preview of the forthcoming album Cool To Be You. This EP represents the reestablishment of punk rock, taking it out of the hands of the posers, and bringing it back to the actual punks who, after the 70's punk bands broke up, really kept punk alive. Half the bands out there, brining "punk" to the masses probably don't even know who Milo Aukerman is, and just what kind of role he played in the story of punk. 'Merica is the beginning of the next chapter.

    'Merican is a quick tease of the new full length by The Descendents, four tracks, and one hidden ditty, make this EP one of the most enjoyable albums of the last few years. There isn't a whole lot new here, The Descendents are The Descendents, they are the original punk band with a twist of pop, and this EP could have been released in 1982 and sounded exactly the same. And that is perfectly fine.

    "Nothing With You" is Milo's take on just what it means to be in love, and the overall lack of ambition it inspires, and at the same time, the overall happiness it brings him. "'Merican" offers up a very equal viewed side of just how a good portion of Americans feel about the history of this country, as well as the current state it is in. The line, "I'm proud and ashamed, every 4th of July/ You've got to know the truth before you say you've got pride" just about sums up the song pretty well. "'Merican" points out some of the true highlights of this countries history, but on the same token it brings forth some of the saddest moments that we sometimes conveniently forget. "Here With Me" breaks the three and a half minute mark with a song about what else… missing the one you loved the most. If she was only there with him, everything would be better. The track listing rounds out with the thoughts that probably go through Milo's head every time he leaves the band. It's the best song Kurt Cobain never wrote about his life. Milo just had the brains to write it down, and make a song about it, instead of blowing his brains out. Let's just hope that Milo, and the rest of the band never really stick with this philosophy and actually quit. The final cut on the album is the most un-Descendents like song on the EP. It is a bit slower and longer than your "typical" Descendents track, but that doesn't take away from the overall power of the track. It is just one extra special reason to pick up 'Merican.

    The Descendents were distressed about girls before it was cool to wear your heart on your sleeve. The Descendents were nerd rock before Rivers ever picked up his first pick (and Milo has the Phd. to prove it). The Descendents had been there, and done that, and gave up before being there, and doing that would get them on TRL, playing to crowds of thousands at one show, not an entire tour. 'Merican should be the beginning of the next stage of punk. This is the stage where it is time to ether shit or get off the pot. This album ('Merican and Cool To Be You collectively) isn't for the fame, it isn't for the money, it is just for a chance to be heard. Well, to be heard, and play music really, really, really fast.

    Jason Cipriano is the Senior Editor. Contact him at jasonc@rockzone.com.

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