An album released by legendary pop punkers the Descendents in 1987, put out by SST Records. Code: SST 112. ASIN: B000000M1P (US site) B0000577M0 (UK site).*

I'm not going to beat around the bush - this is, arguably, the worst thing the Descendents have ever done. That doesn't mean it's really a bad record, far from it, but it's really nowhere near as good as some of the other classics brought into the world by the coffee obsessed group. Milo Goes to College is ranked alongside Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables and Damaged as one of the best punk records of the 80s. Everything Sucks is arguably the definitive pop punk record, and probably my favourite album of the 90s. Cool to Be You, their latest, is arguably a great third place compared to the above two.

ALL, however, is simply a vaguely average album in a pile of awesomeness. Which is a pity. But then, if you're a true Descendents nut like me you'll probably buy it anyway.

The main problem with this album is that it's what is usually called "experimental". aka, the band became a bit bored with doing what they always do, and decided to try something a little different. There are still some raging along punk songs, but there are also songs drifting dangerously into metal territory, and some which are simply pointless 6 minute meanderings. It's probably worth a listen, but it's not in my CD player anywhere near as much as their other releases are.


I'll start off by mentioning the good ones. Album opener (well, the real album opener) Coolidge is a pretty decent song. It's got the usual self deprecation that Milo specialises in, and is probably the most old skool Descendents song on the record.

Van and Cameage are also reasonably good tracks, more of the slow and thoughtful (or as some call it "whiny") kind that the band also do reasonably well. Pep Talk is standard material for the band, but they've done it much better in other places. Jealous of the World (pretty catchy) and Clean Sheets finish up the songs which I really like on this album. Unfortunately, most things after that are distinctly average, or pretty annoying.

First, the "comedy" songs. ALL, a one second power chord/ drum smash, with Milo shouting "ALL!!!" at the top of his voice, seems pretty pointless, as does the No, ALL! "song" a few tracks later. That lasts a whole 4 seconds, and the lyrics are "All? NO, ALL!!!!". Some people think these "songs" are quite tongue in cheek and amusing, but I think they are kind of pointless. The Descendents can do comedy short songs, (eg Weinerschnitzel, My Dad Sucks) but in my opinion the ones on this album aren't that great. But if I thought that was bad, the song All-o-gistics really takes the cake as far as pointlessness goes. It's a 3 minute long rant with no tune, in which Milo talks about how the Bass Master General met up with him - "we had a little snack - and he said drink of this Bonus Cup, it is my blood..." and told him about the All-o-gistics, laws which you must follow to become Allular. If this all sounds like an ass load of idiocy, well, it pretty much is really. The laws were slightly amusing ("Though shalt not commit laundry..") but again, this song doesn't really work for me.

Then we come to the songs which at least mean well, but are still not great. Iceman is basically metal, which just doesn't sound right. Impressions is a random slow meandering which does pick up towards the end, but again might have been best left on the editing room floor. Uranus and Schizophrenia are songs in which nothing seems to happen, but yet they take up to 6 minutes of nothing, and the lyrics are the very definition of "uhh... what?".


The band is well known for having members jump in and out, and Bill Stevenson the drummer is technically the only constant member. Milo Aukerman has sung on every Descendents record (at least, all the ones in which they had a singer) but often takes longs hiatuses from the group, at which point other people have stepped in to sing. Milo returning caused the sister band ALL to be brought into existence, as is mentioned above. If naming a band after an album from a band which is almost the same as the first band but not strikes you as a bad idea, I'm with you. But hey.

On this record, the band's lineup is actually the current (2004) one, which is quite impressive. Which means this is the lineup that recorded Everything Sucks also came out with this. Anyone who can explain this, answers on a postcard please.


I can't decide what to put here. On the one hand, this is not a great album and could have been so much better, considering which band it's by. On the other, it's got some pretty good songs, and if it was released by some unknown band I would probably consider it a pleasant surprise. If you have a compulsive need to own every Descendents album like me (I'm getting there..) then you'll probably end up buying it, but personally I wouldn't say it's a totally worthwhile purchase for any less than obsessive fans. The best songs from it are on Somery, the compilation album anyway. If you need any further proof that this album isn't great, then check out this: it doesn't have a picture of cartoon Milo on the front. I rest my case.

* - Thanks to OldMiner for suggesting I include ASIN numbers.


Owning the album (3 quid from ebay yah boo sucks to you)
Slightlys scary obsessive knowledge of the band.