Thursday, March 31, 2016
Track: “Drug Train”
Social Distortion’s self-titled release was a potent concoction of punk, blues, and rock-n-roll that allowed the band to reach new levels of success in the early ’90s. Growing up through that decade, I can’t even count the amount of times I saw Social D patches clung to the backpacks of kids as they passed me in the school hallways. Who could blame them, though? The band’s logo of a skeleton sporting an alcoholic beverage in one hand, and a lit cigarette in the other was (and still is) a slick and fitting portrayal of the band’s rebellious attitude.
Aside from their popular image, however, their music was adored for good reason. There are a handful of tracks on their 1990 breakthrough album that stand the test of time, but it’s the final track ‘Drug Train’ that seems to be a rather underappreciated gem in their discography. Complete with peppy harmonicas, blues-inspired guitar riffs, and a punk backbone, the song rolls along with a steady and powerful momentum. It might not be the fast-paced assault many punk songs are known for, but it carries an awful lot of substance and weight along the way to its destination. Beneath the playful nature of the song, vocalist Mike Ness lends his nasally, apathetic vocal approach to paint a vivid picture of the rollercoaster ride that is drugs. The unique combination of his thought-provoking lyrics paired with a touch of country influence and a punk demeanor make for one hell of a track. So whether you’re hearing this for the first time or just revisiting a ‘90s favorite, ‘Drug Train’ is a ride worth taking.
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