The Descendents are a punk rock band from southern California, formed in 1978 by guitarist Frank Navetta, bassist Tony Lombardo and drummer Bill Stevenson. Their first and only release with this original lineup was "Ride the Wild"/"It's a Hectic World", a double A-side of melodic surf-pop.
In 1980 they enlisted Stevenson's old schoolfriend Milo Aukerman as a singer, and reappeared as a punk band, becoming a major player in the hardcore scene developing in Los Angeles at the time. Their first release with Aukerman, 1981's Fat EP, was a furious six-minute barrage of teen angst and goofball humour, featuring such songs as "My Dad Sucks" and the 16-second "I Like Food". Their debut album the following year, Milo Goes to College, introduced an element of melody and sensitivity that set them apart from most other hardcore bands. Songwriting was shared among the band members and Stevenson's songs in particular were to greatly influence the melodic punk-pop bands of the '90s.
Milo Aukerman really was off to college, to embark on an education that would take him as far as a doctorate in biochemistry, while Bill Stevenson became for a while the drummer with fellow hardcore punks Black Flag. The band did not record again until 1985 with the album I Don't Want to Grow Up. This, and the subsequent albums, Enjoy! (1986) and All (1987), saw the band playing a slower and less angry style of rock music with less success than the debut album, although songs like "Coolidge" still packed an emotional punch.
There were several lineup changes over this period: bassist Lombardo was replaced first by Doug Carrion and then Karl Alvarez, while guitarist Navetta was replaced by Ray Cooper and then Stephen Egerton. Both Karl and Steve-O were from Salt Lake City punk band the Massacre Guys. Steve also has a bit part as a punk rocker in the film The Philadephia Experiment (movie).
The band disbanded in 1987 to be replaced by All, who continued the legacy of the Descendents. In 1996 they reformed with Milo Aukerman, now a full-time research biochemist, to record and tour the album Everything Sucks, a return to their early-80s punk style. In 2004 they released their new album Cool to Be You.
- Ride the Wild/It's a Hectic World single (1979)
- Fat EP (1981)
- Milo Goes to College (1982)
- I Don't Want to Grow Up (1985)
- Enjoy! (1986)
- All (1987)
- Somery (1991)
- Everything Sucks (1996)
- 'Merican EP (2004)
- Cool To Be You (2004)
Also available are the live albums Liveage (1987) and Hallraker (1989) and the compilation Somery (1991). The debut single and EP were packaged as Bonus Fat in 1985 and this was combined with Milo Goes to College to produce Two Things at Once in 1988.