When I first really started listening to music, I was in 7th grade and I liked sublime and nirvana. I don't mean I liked those bands the best, I mean I really don't remember listening to much other music. After I got sick of the What I Got EP, I brought 40oz to Freedom home from Coconuts and my parents freaked out. That moment goes on my all time top 5. I mean, here I am, just turned 13, walking in the door with this album with a "Parental Advisory" sticker. So they previewed it. I don't know if I've ever seen them so embarrassed, angry, and uncertain of what to do. I mean, this album's title alludes to alcoholism, and the subject matter of the songs, Oh! the subject matter. We've got prostitution, genitalia, hard drugs, hard drinking, soft drugs, crime, nazis, literally everything "bad" is mentioned on this album. Oh and I think they drop the f-bomb more times than I could count. If my parents' goal was to get me to love this album, they certainly did the right thing by trying to shield me, cuz of course, that means I'll listen and I won't want the CD more. Even aside from its rebellion factor though, this is the one album that I can credit with getting me interested in varying forms of underground music. The style-hopping on this album is ridiculous. The more I fell in love with the album, the more I became open to punk rock, ska, reggae, hip hop, folk music, jam, all genres that are touched upon. In addition to the genre jumping nature of their own songs, Sublime always covered a huge range of artists. Six tracks on the album are straight covers, and other songs draw bits and pieces from other artists, like the specials quote at the end of "DJs". I read up on the album a lot, and when I found out that they took a lot of material from other artists, it inspired me to dig deeper and seek out these other artists. Thanks to 40oz to Freedom, I picked up albums by Bad Religion, Toots & the Maytals, the Specials, the Grateful Dead, Public Enemy, and maybe the most importantly the Descendents.
See, although it was 40oz that got me into the Descendents, the Descendents really pulled me into Punk Rock, my first true love. When I bought Milo Goes to College, it blew my mind that someone would let a bunch of kids into a studio to record an album. The lyrics showed the confusion and frustration of adolescence in a way no one over 17 could ever hope to capture. Even if the music wasn't technically proficient, it felt so real and so impassioned that I don't think I turned this CD off for weeks. I remember listening to this album and having my mom ask me, "what is musical about this?" and sitting there and just thinking, "Ooh! She doesn't understand at all!" I was so angsty, man, and this was the perfect album for it. My love for the album translated to curiosity, just like it had with 40oz, so I investigated other bands on the Descendents label, mainly Black Flag and Bad Brains. Then before you knew it, I was just doing everything I could to learn about and listen to everything punk rock.