Descendents’ Awesome New Album: Hypercaffium Spazzinate
Veteran punk rock band Descendents have released Hypercaffium Spazzinate, their seventh studio album and their first since Cool to Be You, released in 2004. Descendents are often credited as a major inspiration for many modern pop punk bands, such as Fall Out Boy, Green Day, and blink-182. Thus, any new music from them is bound to pique the interest of the music world.
Hypercaffium Spazzinate is a peppy pop punk collection of two-to-three minute tracks packed with spirited guitar riffs, energetic basslines, and punchy drumbeats. Pop punk emphasizes a combination of fast punk rock tempos with cheerful melodies, and Descendents do it better than anyone else, especially on this album. Pop punk also tends to emphasize adolescent themes in its lyrics, topics that range from love and relationships to scatological humor. However, Descendents don’t take this approach on Hypercaffium Spazzinate as they’ve done in the past. This time around, their music showcases a type of maturity that fits well with their current status as a veteran punk rock band. It allows them to remain relevant in the contemporary music scene, and it demonstrates why they’re still a band that we need to acknowledge.
For example, the first track on the album, titled “Feel This”, was written by bassist Karl Alvarez after his mother passed away. The tune is short, fast-paced, and furiously intoned, but it packs an emotional punch. The chorus reads:
I wanna feel this
Gotta have to bear witness
Gonna take pain straight the way I found it
I gotta feel this
So I can kick this sickness
The only way to get my mind around it
Relationships aren’t the only lyrical topic that Descendents tackle on Hypercaffium Spazzinate. “No Fat Burger” is one of the briefest, most classically punk rock tracks on the record, but it humorously touches upon the idea that adults can no longer eat unhealthy foods without concern for their fitness. Frontman Milo Aukerman called it an update to the band’s 1981 tune “I Like Food”. Likewise, the plucky and melodic track “Smile” features lyrics that portray Aukerman’s perspective of drummer Bill Stevenson’s past illnesses. The first verse reads:
I can see your pain has left you locked up, beat down
I can see the fear has made you desperate, burnt out
Too much regret and shattered hope
Sent you slipping down that slope
All I can do is lend a hand
Be a friend again
And it’s OK if you want to vent, but…
The tracks I’ve mentioned here are just three samples from an incredibly well-made and enjoyable album. Hypercaffium Spazzinate is a win for Descendents and the contemporary music scene in general, as it represents Descendents’ increasingly significant lyrical maturity as well as the continued relevance of punk rock and its musical roots.
If you want a sample of Hypercaffium Spazzinate, check out “Victim Of Me”, the first single released from the album, or “Without Love”, another fantastic track that was released for music streams in July. If you like what you hear, you can find Hypercaffium Spazzinate on Spotify.