Reviews & suggestions for punk rock fans.

Filmage: The Story of Descendents/ALL – Documentary to Watch

Documentary Exploring the History of One of the Best Pop-Punk Bands

If I ask you about the Descendents you’d probably remind me of the killer bass line that’s fast and crafty from the first song, “Myage,” off the album Milo Goes to College. That bass sounds almost like a gurgle which is sick to hear and then the drums come in – the repetitive, fast pounding snare. Gets me excited just thinking about it, and it’s one of the most legendary starts for one of the best pop-punk rock albums of all time. Much like the title of the song as mentioned, and many of the Descendents‘ songs, the documentary that explores the history of the band also ends with a word using “age.” It’s called Filmage: The Story of Descendents/ALL and it’s worth taking a gander for fans of the bands and those who have never heard of them.

It starts with the typical praise for the subject of the film. Various characters who will help tell the story like Dave Grohl, Brett Gurewitz, Trever Keith, Tim Mcllrath, Chuck Dukowski, Mike Watt, and plenty more speaking on how The Descendents/ALL are one of “the most underrated bands in punk rock,” or how “they came from a different world,” and “it’s unbelievable to think that this band that started in the 1970s still continues today.” Unbelievable, indeed.

From there, it tells the complete chronological history of the band The Descendents/ALL. The person to start the tale is none other than Keith Morris who explains how little Bill Stevenson would stop by his father’s bait shop for both tackle and work. Next, you are introduced to the other founding members, Frank Navetta and David Nolte, of the Descendents who all resided in the neighborhood communities of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, California during the late 1970s. Once you the band is formed, the documentary continues to unveil the history by introducing and providing background to the many members who came and went. Milo Aukerman, Karl Alvarez, Stephen Egerton, Tony Lombardo, Ray Cooper, Doug Carrion, Chad Price, Dave Smalley, and Scott Reynolds each have a moment in the sun. And then you receive a complete wrap-up on Bill Stevenson who gets praise for his songwriting and drum play. In addition, you get a personal experience with Bill as you learn about his relationship with his father and the medical issues he dealt with later in life. You don’t miss a beat as the film finishes with where the band is today – still touring and playing unbelievable shows.

One reason I love this film and the story of these bands is the authenticity they presented. I’ve always felt there is nothing more punk than being your authentic self in a world that forces conformity. The Descendents/ALL provide killer music with a geek as a front man belting tunes about lost love. It’s original, authentic, and f**king awesome. Their history is a punk rock story, and a good one at that. Don’t take my word for it. Never. Find out for yourself when you watch Filmage: The Story of Descendents/All.

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