Social Distortion
Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes


3.5
great

Review

by Mike Allen USER (12 Reviews)
January 16th, 2011 | 47 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yet another consistent record from one of punk rock's most consistent groups

When you’ve been around for the better part of four decades, consistency is certainly a difficult measure to come by. Just ask Social Distortion. Since the classic punk outfit’s initiation in the late 1970’s, Social Distortion has been a hotbed for catastrophe and change; ultimately leading to a plethora of lineup changes and years between releases. Throughout the band’s campaign, more than fifteen musicians have called themselves members of Social Distortion, with only one significant piece remaining intact; lead vocalist Mike Ness. Despite being the only remaining member of the original band, the resident bad-boy has experienced a turbulent career to say the least. Following the debut record Mommy’s Little Monster, Ness’ heroin addiction and number of arrests forced the band into hiatus for the better half of the 80’s. Climbing out of the depths of crisis and armed with a load of new inspiration, Social Distortion returned in 1988 with the acclaimed Prison Bound. Since then, Ness and crew have overcome the adversity caused by countless departing members and the death of guitarist Dennis Danell; responding with four highly-touted releases, which retain the band’s hard-hitting and melodic sound. How’s that for consistency?

With the band’s past in consideration, it isn’t surprising that Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes is a familiar record. The country and blues tinged leads, hazy rhythm guitars, and Ness’ trademark snarl are all indicative of Social Distortion’s preceding works; still retaining that classic sound that so adamantly defined them. While the album was being recorded, Ness was particularly vocal about keeping new technology out of the process, and instead utilizing old microphones and tapes. What has resulted is a record immensely rooted in 70’s punk and bluesy rock and roll. In fact, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes is more heavily reliant on the latter characteristic, for the record is driven by a number of mid-tempo rockers such as “Bakersfield” and “Diamond in the Rough.” These casual and bluesy tracks provide Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes with an infectious quality; something that is only furthered by the presence of female backing vocals and the occasional keyboards. The female backing vocals in particular are entirely new to Social Distortion records, and provide the album with some remarkable harmonization. Subsequently, the album has a very accessible and heartwarming sensation about it, the latter which separates the release from its predecessors.

Social Distortion may just have been missing from our lives for the past seven years, but Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes conveys that there is no need to shake off the dust. As sharp as they have been for decades, Social Distortion has returned with a cohesive and distinctive record that is only slightly hindered by the occasional clichéd lyric. For a band that has been to hell and back, Social Distortion unloads their storied inspiration and emotion into Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, and sounds damn good at it in the process. With all things considered, Social D’s latest is nothing overly mind-blowing; just good old fashioned rock and roll with a blue collar tendency. And isn’t that what we’ve wanted in Social Distortion all along?



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user ratings (112)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
mallen-
January 16th 2011


1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Streaming on the band site:
http://www.voxbloc.com/share/social-distortion-album-stream

Hep Kat
January 16th 2011


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah this isn't bad, about what i expected. they've certainly lost some cojones with age unfortunately (lyrically at least). the intro/california punch is nice, and i really dig machine gun blues

Pizza
January 16th 2011


687 Comments


excellent review! I will give this a listen later, used to listen to this band a lot

mallen-
January 16th 2011


1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

they've certainly lost some cojones with age unfortunately (lyrically at least).

Yeah that's definitely something I've noticed in the past few records. I think they are enjoying things a bit more now (which is both a bad and good thing).

DoubtGin
January 16th 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a bit disappointing but still great

couldwinarabbit
January 16th 2011


6996 Comments


pretty good first review from a new guy.

Romulus
January 16th 2011


8437 Comments


yeah idk who this guy is but pretty sweet to get a review featured on their first shot

vanderb0b
January 16th 2011


3473 Comments


This is EVedder, so it's not really surprising that the review was featured. Speaking of which, great write-up.

couldwinarabbit
January 16th 2011


6996 Comments


*facepalm*

WhiteNoise
January 16th 2011


3169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can't wait to pick this up after my gig this friday! :D

Apollo
January 16th 2011


10314 Comments


great review, I'm gonna get this

CrisStyles
January 16th 2011


768 Comments


should really start listening to social distortion

mallen-
January 16th 2011


1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah idk who this guy is but pretty sweet to get a review featured on their first shot


Haha I totally should have acted like a new user with a different user name


CrisStyles, try Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell or s/t

WhiteNoise
January 16th 2011


3169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"should really start listening to social distortion"

get the self titled now!

Mordecai.
January 16th 2011


8279 Comments


why did you pick an even worse username than your original one?

mallen-
January 16th 2011


1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I went with something simple like my name

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2011


7307 Comments


Why the new account EVedder?

(Great review as usual + pos + congrats on the feature)

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

mallen-
January 16th 2011


1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks. My forum and review site profiles had linking issues and I wanted to change the user name.

CrisStyles
January 16th 2011


768 Comments


I think I bought Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell for my dad for his birthday and never listened to it myself. I'll have to get on that.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2011


23845 Comments


so EVedder is no more?



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