When the Descendents finally ended their first run as an on-again/off-again pop-punk band in 1987, a pair of live albums (Liveage and Hallraker) was compiled by their only constant member, founding drummer Bill Stevenson. As Stevenson writes in the liner notes for Hallraker, Liveage was meant to "serve as a sort of 'greatest-hits' album," but too many tracks were left out, so a second LP was released, "at the request of fans." The albums do provide a fine end cap to the first part of the band's legacy, even though several early songs ("Bikeage," "Marriage," "Jean Is Dead," etc.) are unforgivably absent.
The album was assembled from live tracks recorded at two shows: one in July 1987 at First Avenue in Minneapolis, and the other in April 1987 at Berkeley Square in Berkeley. This was during the "All" and "Final" tours, as described by Stevenson, before the band switched singers to Dave Smalley to become ALL, and Milo Aukerman wandered off to Ph.D.-land.
The recordings here do well to capture the vitality and frenzy of the band in action, even as they were in the final throes of existence. Among the songs that are included, "Pep Talk," "Cheer," and "My World" are the highlights. Other tracks like "Iceman" and "Jealous of the World" demonstrate the metal edge that developed in the band's sound in their last couple of studio albums.
The Descendents reunited in 1996 with Everything Sucks, featuring the same lineup (for once!) and proving that they hadn't lost a step. For their first incarnation (as it was), Hallraker provides a good document after the fact.