Social Distortion
Social Distortion


4.5
superb

Review

by tom79 USER (76 Reviews)
February 19th, 2006 | 39 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist


This is Social Distortion's third studio release and their major label debut (Epic Records). They left their previous record label "Time Bomb Recordings" in 1989. This self titled disc was released on May 27, 1990, two years after their previous release, Prison Bound, which ended the five year drought of no releases. With this album, Social Distortion proved they were back on track after a five year hiatus from 1983 to 1988. While their first album, the brilliant Mommy's Little Monster was a straight up punk record with not the greatest diversity, their next release, Prison Bound combined more of a rock & roll and roots rock sound to their music. This album also shows a rock & roll and rockabilly sound combined with punk which works really well. Some might say this is not as good as Mommy's Little Monster, but some say it's better, either way, this is an excellent album, and one that remains an essential standout in the bands discography.

Mike Ness has a distinctive voice and stands out on every track. Danell and Ness do a great job on guitar on this album while Reece and Maurer also give solid performances with the rockailly like guitar and drums. Something that is very common on this record is the repetitive choruses (done propeerly) that a number of songs have like So Far Away, She's A Knockout, and Drug Train. The album opens up with So Far Away, a good rock song with chorus of 'so far away, so far away'. It leaves a great first impression. Let It Be Me, is one of the more punk, less rockabilly songs on the album. It is fast paced and has some effective backing vocals in the chorus. Overall a solid track that leads up to one of the best on the album. On this record, you could really notice Mike's influence from Johnny Cash in his songs and the way he sings. And as a fan of the man in black, he decided to cover Ring of Fire and did a very good job at it, a definite highlight of the album and fits perfectly right in the middle of the record. The song is obviously very different than Mr. Cash's and not necessarily better than the orginal, but gives the bands own heavier spin on it.

This album contains some of their most well known songs and some of their best too, including masterpieces such as the fun sing a long track Story of my Life, probably the catchiest, and in my opinion the best on the album, and the very emotional Ball and Chain, a hit from the album, with excellent and personal lyrics. Ball and Chain and Story of my Life are also the two longest songs on the album with both reaching almost six minutes, and whats even better is that they both remain solid all the way through. Most of the lyrics from this album are written from personal experience by Mike Ness such as Story of my Life and It Coulda Been Me. It Coulda Been Me is another rockabilly tune and good one at that. The song also features some cool harmonica in the background which makes the song even better. A personal favorite of mine is She's A Knockout which opens up with a nice drumbeat and then kicks into a great riff. The chorus is again repetitive with mike singing over and over 'She's a Knockout!' but it is still a great song. Sick Boys is another highlight of the album with a very catchy riff and some great vocals as usual. A Place in my Heart sounds very similar to 'It Coulda Been Me' except faster paced and features a guitar solo from Danell. Drug Train, the album closer, has a very bluesy feel to it. The harmonica again stands out on this song. Drug Train is still well done and ends the album an a bit of a darker note.

If you are a fan of classic punk, rockabilly, or just punk rock in general, I highly recommend this album as it is one of Social D's best, and really doesn't have a bad track on it. Social Distortion's self titled release provides some great, meaningful lyrics from Mike Ness as for some great songs all the way through.

4.5/5

Social Distortion on Social Distortion:
Mike Ness: Vocals/Guitar
Denis Danell: Guitar/Backing Vocals
John Maurer: Bass/ Backing Vocals
Christopher Reece: Drums

Recommended Songs:
Story Of My Life
Ring Of Fire
Ball And Chain
Sick Boys



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A quintessential 90s punk listen....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Desensitized
February 20th 2006


136 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Man, "Drug Train" is the best song on the album!

This is an excellent release from an excellent band. I feel this is their first real 'classic' album.

Zebra
Moderator
February 20th 2006


2647 Comments


'Story of my Life' is a classic and the only song I really listen to by Social Distortion.

Storm In A Teacup
February 20th 2006


13229 Comments


Tom79, you wouldn't happen to be a moderator at Cobalt would you?

tom79
February 20th 2006


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nope. not meThis Message Edited On 02.20.06

Digging: Bent Outta Shape - Bent Outta Shape

Rudd13
February 20th 2006


952 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is the band's best right after "Rock N' Roll and Prison Bound. Alright review. So Far Away still strikes as one of the band's best.

NEDM
February 20th 2006


1113 Comments


You are a good writer, but more details wouldn't hurt. Add one or two more paragraphs and you got it.
The band's skeleton logo is the funniest thing I have ever witnessed. How could you resist laughing after seeing a skeleton holding a martini and dancing.

tom79
February 20th 2006


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks, i'll work at adding some more detail into my reviews

norcalsickboy
February 21st 2006


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The Best Social Distortion Album! common people this is a deffinite 5! what the hell are 4's? better than theat, Common, Sickboy, Story of My Life, Ball and Chain, A Place in My Heart? all these are classics! lets get it a 5!

711
April 2nd 2006


1341 Comments


Cool album. Ball and Chain? Awsome song!

DesolationRow
April 2nd 2006


833 Comments


Great album and a very good review. Mike Ness is probably my favorite punk vocalist. You can't deny a man with a raspy voice that plays the guitar leads. His songwriting skills are very different from most punks, because he knows how to be poetic while still being a complete badass simultaneously.

Two-Headed Boy
August 29th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a schmooze-tastic album and a kick-ass review.

MrKite
December 23rd 2006


5020 Comments


I'm not to big on this band. Although I only just heard of them yesterday so maybe they need to grow on, but I don't see it happening.

tom79
December 23rd 2006


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They have 3 stages so you might like one:
-early to mid 80's is more punk rock
-early 90's (like this) is rockabilly orientated.
-and up til now is more hard rock with punk as well.

By the way, which songs did you hear by them?

MrKite
December 23rd 2006


5020 Comments


Winners And Losers, Don't take me for Granted, Angel Wings, and Cold Feelings.

tom79
December 23rd 2006


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, you should check out their first two albums. Those songs are not their best for getting into them. Hear the songs: The Creeps, Mommy's Little Monster, It's The Law, Lost Child, Story of my Life :thumb:

but if you don't like them, I guess you don't like Social D
thats fine though.This Message Edited On 12.23.06

MrKite
December 23rd 2006


5020 Comments


Thank you, tom. I shall download them tout de suite.

Two-Headed Boy
December 23rd 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Story of my Life was in Orange County, just realized that.

Teen growing-up-in-suffocating-bizzare-family-trying-to-go-to-college movies ftw.
Heh, an early Tom review. :p

tom79
December 23rd 2006


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, Social D and The Offspring are on the Orange County soundtrack. They are both from Orange County so it kinda makes sense.

Yes, this review is old.This Message Edited On 12.23.06

monkeywrench
February 16th 2007


22 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like the cover of "Ring of Fire". And I like "She's a Knockout" and "Sick Boy" a lot.

Isola
April 21st 2007


421 Comments


Need to get this... Sounds good.



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