Posts tagged social distortion
I’ll just say it right now, trying to objectively review this album is not an easy task. For one, Social Distortion is one of my favorite live bands around. Mike Ness, iconic frontman and founder, and the boys have been playing live shows since the early 80s, and they still bring all of the energy and passion that a live show demands with every stop. In my opinion, Social Distortion is timeless punk rock for the California music lover. Classics such as “Story Of My Life” and “Ball And Chain” will forever be associated with the Southern California punk rock and music scene. So here I am, trying to review an album from one of my all time favorite bands, and I get something like Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes. For starters, it’s important to keep in mind that for the first time on a Social Distortion record Mike Ness took over the production duties. Maybe in the end, that wasn’t such a good idea, and here is why- Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes is an remarkable Mike Ness solo album but leaves the Social Distortion faithful scratching their heads and yearning for more. Taking Social D’s full discography into account, Hard Times is by far the least punk, most southern, closest to blues, and slowest album of all. That’s not a bad thing for a Mike Ness solo album, but it just doesn’t seem to fit under the Social Distortion moniker. After 30 years of playing punk rock music, can Mike Ness change the sound of his legendary California band? Of course he can. Mike can do whatever he wants with Social D! I just wished he would have brought out the punk stuff for this album and for this band. To put it simply, the single “Reach For The Sky” from the band’s previous album is about three times faster and harder hitting than anything on the new album.
Alright, so now that I have that taken care of, let’s take a look at the actual songs on this album in a more objective light. The album starts with a punk-rock prelude from the band- a very rare instrumental track for the band. From there the album goes into the second single “California (Hustle And Flow)”, which is a pretty good identifier for the album as a whole. It’s different, its blues, and its definitely a little hard to slow at first. But if you can get over the initial surprise, there is a lot to like. One suggestion, maybe next time guys you should save the back up singers for the live shows only. A few songs in, we get to the best song on the album and the one I can’t stop playing- “Diamond In The Rough”. Yes, the story isn’t anything we haven’t heard from Mike before, but the presentation is excellent. To me, this is exactly the type of songs Mike wants to record now, and as long as it sounds this good I can’t argue too much with it. “Machine Gun Blues” is the headlining single from the album, and it does its job as a steady moving KROQ hit. I prefer the energy of “Reach For The Sky”, but “Machine Gun Blues” holds its own as Social D single. From there we get into some great Hank Williams covers. “Alone And Forsaken” and “Six More Miles” are the perfect blend of the legendary country rock star and the so cal punk boy. Mike has always channeled the energy and sound of Hank Williams in concert, and its more than satisfying to hear these live show staples get the proper treatment on a recording. So what can I say, the music is great (back up vocals could have been scrapped) and the song writing is classic Social D, but the music and sound is a little different. I wouldn’t put this album on to showcase Social Distortion punk rock to anyone, but its the perfect companion if you are looking to take a few steps back and enjoy some great music.
Alright, so one of our favorite bands ever has already played two nights at the Hollywood Palladium on Sunset Blvd. Social Distortion has rocked the historic Palladium for the past 48 hours, and it’s somewhere you need to be if you love classic punk rock, so cal punk or as frontman Mike Ness has been putting it, if you like “The Ramones, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones or Hank Williams”. So if you consider yourself a fan, make sure to get down to the Palladium tonight for the final show of their three night SOLD OUT stand. We don’t support buying through scalpers, but there were quite a few “ticket sellers” around the venue last night trying to get rid of last second tickets for around face value. We’ll be there again tonight, because Social Distortion is bringing down the Palladium one more time and it shouldn’t be missed!
Social Distortion are starting to get the buzz revved up for their new album release in January. Not only has Social Distortion sold out two dates at the Hollywood Palladium, they just added a third date on January 29th! So two sold out shows with a soon to be third, new album, new single on the radio- times are good for Social D fans. We’ll see how the concerts at the much bigger Hollywood Palladium play out, especially since we are so accustomed to seeing Social D in the House of Blues venues, but I’m sure Mike Ness and the crew are ready to put on a killer three nights in January. You can check out the new single “Machine Gun Blues” on KROQ’s website right now. Go there, quick, before its gone! Listen to Social Distortion’s New Single
Hot on the heels of the announcement of their new album, Social Distortion have announced a spring tour with stops in Hollywood and the greater Los Angeles area. As we predicted here on Westside Story, Social Distortion will be returning home soon to play the Hollywood Palladium on January 27th, 2011. The Palladium is a bigger venue than Social D’s usual home at the House of Blues venues, but this should make for a different concert experience for the Southern California punk rockers. Make sure to check out Social D at the Palladium, one of Westside Story’s favorite bands. Tickets go on sale this Friday on Live Nation.
Jan. 25 – Ventura, CA – Ventura Theatre w/Lucero and Chuck Ragan
Jan. 27 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium w/The Aggrolites and Chuck Ragan
Feb. 19 – San Diego, CA – House Of Blues w/Lucero and Chuck Ragan
Feb. 20 – San Diego, CA – House Of Blues w/The Aggrolites and Chuck Ragan
OK, only one part of that headline is actually fact at this point. Yes, today Southern California’s own Social Distortion announced plans to release their new album titled Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes on January 18, 2011. No, Social Distortion did not announce a spring tour yet to support the release- we made that part up. But knowing that Social Distortion has sold out every southern California show they have played in recent memory, I think we can expect an announcement on a Spring tour some time soon. For followers of the band, the news of the new album comes as no surprise. Mike Ness, frontman and songwriter of Social D, has been playing new songs at live shows for almost 2 years now. A quick glance at the track listing shows that many of these songs will get the complete studio treatment on this album. “Bakersfiled”, a love ballad that conjures up imagines of the lonely drive up Interstate 5, has been a staple of live shows for a years now and will finally see its official release on Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes. Social Distortion is one of the most beloved bands from Southern California, and that makes this album a definite highlight of the new releases scheduled for 2011.
Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes Track Listing:
1. Road Zombie
2. California (Hustle And Flow)
3. Gimme The Sweet And Lowdown
4. Diamond In The Rough
5. Machine Gun Blues
7. Far Side Of Nowhere
8. Alone And Forsaken
9. Writing On The Wall
10. Can’t Take It With You
11. Still Alive