There's a window of about 8 to 10 years in a guy's life where music plays a crucial role... usually. Right about half-way through high school you gravitate towards a particular personal style, and with it comes the soundtrack of your youth. You could've been one of those turtlenecked choads, writing sub-par poetry in a leather bound blank book who cut your teeth on Philip Glass; or an maybe you were an unfortunate soul with hessian hair and an affinity for the bong stylings of Sabbath or Zeppelin.
Perhaps you were one of the stinky hippie types that caught the tail end of the Grateful Dead and are still wearing tie-dye t-shirts and doing "'shrooms, dude." Almost everyone else moves on... shelves the Twisted Sister records, gets a job they hate barely enough, weds and spends the afternoon raking leaves and fixing the washing machine.
Once in a while you dust off the turntable or CD player and hark back to simpler times: before the squabbles with the spouse and dinners at the in-laws -- where you could take the fifteen bucks in your pocket and buy the new album by 38-Special rather than a 48-pack if Luvs or Huggies. You'll find that you outgrew most of your music collection, but there is always a small handful of albums that are both timeless and nostalgic. Yeah, Venom and Morbid Saint might suck ass to listen to now on the way to work, but for some reason you could still listen to Megadeth.
Me? Out of the muck that was the mid-80s there are several albums and artists that I can still listen to. Some of it still speaks to me as an adult, but nothing makes me feel like a kid more than the Descendents.
Their playful lyrics, catchy choruses & rudimentary harmonies take me back to a time when all I had to worry about was meeting girls - all I had to do was hang out with friends and all I owed was one months' rent in a sh*tty college apartment.
Drummer Bill Stevenson and vocalist Milo Aukerman are two of the most talented songwriters ever to fly under the radar. They helped us recover from sh*tty girlfriends and made us daydream about meeting the next. They included tracks full of their own farts (gotta love a band that appreciates toilet humor). Their songs melted away the miles on road-trips with as we sang along at the top of our lungs - a tradition that I've maintained with the O-Dog, who can sing all of "Clean Sheets."
Enjoy... but I ask: What takes you back?