Never ones to want to grow up, the Descendents have dusted off their earliest tracks and enlisted their earliest members for the upcoming album 9th & Walnut, a record nearly four decades in the making. Line-up changes are nothing new for Southern California’s pop-punk godfathers. On 9th & Walnut, which the band began recording in 2002 and features mostly previously-unreleased songs from the group’s Ride the Wild-era of the late 70s, they welcomed original bassist and guitarist Tony Lombardo and the late Frank Navetta, who died in 2008, back into the fold. Almost two decades since the sessions began, Descendents singer Milo Aukerman and drummer Bill Stevenson finished the record during quarantine and are ready for fans to hear the songs they, Lombardo, and Navetta wrote nearly 40 years ago.
The songs on 9th & Walnut, many of which were written upon the band’s formation in 1977 and entered setlists before Aukerman joined the group, will be the first Descendents album to feature prominent roles for founding members Lombardo and Navetta. Lombardo last appeared on 1985’s I Don’t Want To Grow Up. Meanwhile, Navetta left the band after their landmark 1983 album Milo Goes To College. However, both made cameos the group’s 1996 record Everything Sucks—though they were officially replaced by guitarist Stephen Egerton and bassist Karl Alverez in the late 1980s. Egerton, Alverez, and Stevenson produced a record with Lombardo in 1990 for the TonyAll album, New Girl, Old Story.
“They came and stayed with me at my house,” Stevenson told Rolling Stone of the 2002 sessions that became the 9th & Walnut, named after their first practice space. “We just practiced and practiced, and we got [the songs] all up to speed. We tried not to upgrade them or make them fancier than they were. We tried to just leave them how they really were back in the day.”
The first Descendents LP since 2016’s Hypercaffium Spazzinate, 9th & Walnut will hit digital and physical record shelves on July 23. As for the usual Descendents, the ones that have been Descendents since 1989’s ALL, they’re prepping a new album, having released a handful of anti-Trump songs last fall.
Hear the first single, “Baby Doncha Know,” off of 9th & Walnut below.