Descendents released their debut album Milo Goes to College 40 years ago today. Its uniquely melodic take on hardcore punk shook up the hardcore scene in real time and inspired countless other hardcore bands to experiment with brighter melodies, and ultimately wrote the blueprint for the pop punk boom of the 1990s and early 2000s, altering the course of popular music for decades. And we're still feeling their lasting impact on some of today's biggest artists.

As I wrote previously, outside of poppy first-wave punk bands like the Ramones, The Clash, and the Buzzcocks, there's a good argument to be made that no album had a more profound impact on the development of pop punk than the Descendents' first full-length, 1982's Milo Goes to College. It was firmly rooted in the hardcore scene -- released on the Minutemen's New Alliance Records, produced by SST's in-house producer Spot, and played with the same rawness, speed, and intensity as early Black Flag (who Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson later became a member of) -- but the Descendents added in bright, catchy melodies through Milo Aukerman's bratty, snotty delivery, and basically invented pop punk in the process. And it wasn't just the sound of pop punk that Milo Goes to College paved the way for; it was the lyrical content too. With songs about hating your parents, wanting girls to like you, being a loser, and a hint of social criticism, Milo Goes to College laid out what would be the primary concerns for a large majority of pop punk bands to come. Just about every major pop punk band has sung the Descendents' praises, but one band in particular who took notes directly out of Milo Goes to College's playbook was also the band who brought punk to its widest audience: blink-182. "[Descendents are] the only reason blink-182 existed," Tom DeLonge once said. "It was the first band the three of us all agreed on." Mark Hoppus said they "changed the trajectory of [his] life forever." Even if they didn't say it, just a cursory listen to blink-182's '90s output would make the Descendents' influence very, very clear. When blink covered Milo Goes to College standout "Hope" without changing a single thing about it, it sounded... exactly like a blink-182 song. blink may have introduced this kind of music to more people than ever in the late '90s and early 2000s, but it was the Descendents who created it.

Read about more '80s punk albums that shaped the '90s/'00s pop punk boom (including the Misfits, 7Seconds, Dag Nasty, Bad Religion, Gorilla Biscuits, and more) here.

If you'd like to celebrate this landmark anniversary by bringing Milo into your home, you're in luck! We've got Milo action figures (ReAction Figures, to be exact) in our store from various eras of his life, including the Enjoy! era, the Everything Sucks era, and the Cool to Be You era. Also available: a Milo drum key, an Everything Sucks shirt, a Descendents pin set, and their recently-released 9th and Walnut on black vinyl. Browse all of our Descendents merch here. The action figures look like this:


Descendents also have tour dates coming up, including Riot Fest, Is For Lovers, Four Chord Music Festival, the all-inclusive Destination Chaos in the Dominican Republic, and various editions of Punk In Drublic, including the Asbury Park stop on October 2 at Stone Pony Summer Stage with NOFX, Face to Face, and more. (And those Punk In Drublics will apparently be some of NOFX's last shows.) All dates are listed below.

Stream Milo Goes to College:

Descendents -- 2022/2023 Tour Dates
SAT 3 September Edmonton EXPO Centre Edmonton, AB, Canada*
SUN 4 September Tradex Abbotsford, BC, Canada*
FRI 9 September Four Chord Music Festival Washington, PA, US
SAT 10 September Is For Lovers Festival Cincinnati, OH, US
SUN 11 September House of Blues Cleveland Cleveland, OH, US
TUE 13 September The Pageant St Louis, MO, US
THU 15 September The Admiral Omaha, NE, US
FRI 16 September Riot Fest 2022 Chicago, IL, US
SAT 24 September The Palladium Outdoors Worcester, MA, US*
SUN 2 October Stone Pony Summer Stage Asbury Park, NJ, US*
THU 17 November El Ray Theater Albuquerque, NM, US
FRI 18 November The Van Buren Phoenix, AZ, US
SAT 19 November Glass House Pomona, CA, US
SUN 20 November Glass House Pomona, CA, US
January 23-February 4 Destination Chaos Dominican Republic

* - Punk In Drublic

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