1996 // Epitaph Records.
I remember when blank VHS Tapes were a thing. With these things i would buy what i could afford (or what my parents would buy me) and set the VCR up to record the best music related shows when i was a kid, specifically Rage & Recovery. Recovery was a music show that featured guests, interviews & live performances. Rage was basically Australia’s version of MTV-lite that aired at some ungodly hour (1am - there or thereabouts). It featured some of the latest film clips from bands i was into, along with a tonne of bands i wasn’t (that’s why the fast-forward function was created). Every weekend a band, either local or from overseas would host the show and pick their favourite songs. It was, essentially, a long-ass playlist.
So while i slept away, the Phillips VCR was recording an episode that Blink-182 curated & hosted. It must’ve been on the Enema Of The State tour circa 1999/2000. I saw them at Big Day Out and at the Entertainment Centre (R.I.P) with Bodyjar opening for them. Met them at the airport too. I remember thinking it was odd that even then, these “punk rock” dudes all had separate buses.
Anyway, i vividly remember the episode containing stuff from A Tribe Called Quest, The Cure, Sprung Monkey, Face To Face, Bodyjar, Unwritten Law & Suicidal Tendencies. One song that stood out though was “I’m The One” by Descendents. Everything about it blew my pure, teenage mind. Stephen Egerton’s guitar playing particularly got my attention, and Milo’s self-deprecating lyrics struck a chord. It spoke to me on many levels. I was relentlessly bullied at school in my early-mid teens, I had never had a girlfriend, and i remember, later, that if i made a girl a mixtape, “I’m The One” would be the first track, side A. Needless to say, it got me nowhere. The album, though and Milo specifically, taught me that it’s ok to be different. It’s ok to hate everything but more importantly, it’s ok to be good to people, while you are doing it, even if they are total dicks.
Dad was using amazon at that point so i hit him up to get me a copy of it, along with Jimmy Eat World’s - Clarity. He did and about 10 day’s later the package arrived. I didn’t even get to playing “Clarity” for probably two weeks as “Everything Sucks” never left my skip-proof discman.
The late 90’s/early 00’s, in my opinion were a righteous time for alternative/punk and emo. So many classic albums came out of that era, that i still play to this day. Face To Face - Self Titled, Pennywise - shit, pick one. Unwritten Law - Self Titled. Deftones - Around The Fur. Rancid - And Out Come The Wolves. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity. Bad Religion - again, pick one. I could go on.
But “Everything Sucks” always stood, to me, head and shoulders above them all. It was my introduction to one of my top three favourite bands & their discography - which is flawless. Yes, I have the Milo “I Don’t Want To Grow Up” tattoo.
If i had to pin-point the exact moment i knew that a) i was always going to be an outsider and b) that it was ok to be an outsider - it was the first time i heard “I’m The One”. “Everything Sucks” has helped me through many a dark time in my adolescence (and later), it’s one of the only albums that i will actively seek out variants and pressings that i don’t have of it on vinyl, at 35, i still play it weekly, i always seem to pick up on something that i missed on it the last time i listened, whether it be a bass-line or drum-fill, or some weird note or chord Stephen plays. Not to mention that it was something of a gateway album for me. The marijuana of music, i guess. I still get stoked when i hear it, and that’s why this album matters to me.