About the album
Prison Bound was released in 1988, it was the second album by the Orange County band Social Distortion. This album came five years after their last album, Mommy's Little Monster.During the five years without producing anything, Social Distortion was fighting with problem inside the band. Here is a part of an interview taken on the website www.skratchmagazine.com
, it explain a lot the situation between their first and second album. The interview was take with Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness recently.
: What were the changes to the band during the time after you released Mommy's Little Monster and before Prison Bound"
: Well, I got clean. It was easier for me to make it to shows and travel. There was a restructuring of the band, with personnel changes. I was listening to a lot of roots music, and I think that Prison Bound was introducing my affection for American music. Looking back on it now, I think maybe we didn't have to do so much, butů.
: Do you feel that coming clean and redirecting yourself and your songwriting was your next necessary step"
: I realized at that point that if I wanted to keep doing music, I needed to look at this kind of like a job. I'm going to get out of it what I put into it.That's when I really got serious about rehearsals and the direction of the band.The first five years of the band were a party,and that party almost killed me. I was grateful to be alive at that point, and I was looking at my life differently.
When I first listen to this album, I found it simply amazing. It was my first by this band, since that time it had never quit my radioplayer. This is the kind of album that you never really stop listening to. This album was showing a new direction for the band. Mike Ness is still doing vocal and playing guitar for this album. John Maurer is playing bass, Chris Reece on drum and also Dennis Danell on guitar. Now let's take a look at the album.
To begin, the sound on this album is simply amazing. It is the original punk/rock sound mix with some classical rock influances and folk. It sound different indeed, but it is great. I think with this album and more on Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, Social Distortion have acquired their own personnal sound. I really like the guitar work for this album, it is melodic and give a lot of deepness to the songs. You can see on song like Indulgence and I Want What I Want really good guitar riff. Also the bass and drum do an amazing job to back the song. Take a song like It's Law, the drum is really present during the whole song, giving a really fast tempo. Also as usual, Mike Ness vocals are simply amazing, I think he have improve is voice between the record of both album. I think we can see how much is vocal are great in the song Prison Bound, is voice match perfectly with the song and you can notice a lot of emotions while he sing.
On the lyrical side, I think it is better than Mommy's Litlle Monster. The lyrics still talk about politic/society like in the song It's Law. Also personal experiences like in the song Prison Bound, which talk about Mike Ness expericences in prison. Like An Outlaw is more like a song about obsessive love. Also you will see song like On My Nerves that talk about problem of life and pressure. Finally, song like Lost Child that talk about suicide.So it cover a lot of different subjects that are in my opinion really significant. The lyrics are intelligent and also well written. Their is only one song that wasn't wrote by Mike Ness, it is Backstreet Girl. It is a cover of a Rolling Stones song. My favorite lyrical part on this album is in the song Prison Bound.I just find it beautiful,it is the beginning of the song Prison Bound. Here is the part I like:''Well, I'm goin' to a place where the tough guys go and come out even tougher.A place where a man don't show his feelings. A place where a man don't cry.
'' Also this part: ''Oh, I'm prison bound. Tell my girl I'll be back one day. Oh, I'm prison bound I may never know any other way.
'' The song It's The Law also have interesting lyrics about the law system, here is a part:''It's the law, you're in jail. It's the law that sets your bail Don't bother to try and fight It's only a few more nights.
Now if we take a look at the songs, we can see one of the best and well known Social Distortion's song, It's The Law. It simply catch you by it's great guitar riff, fast drum and great lyrics. It is follow by Indulgence which is a great song with a nice intro. Like An Outlaw is more like folk influance song and it have a nice catchy sound. Then you have Backstreet Girl which have a kind of happy sound, I really like Mike Ness vocal on this song. Then come the best song on this album and my personal favorite ever by this band, Prison Bound. This song is a long ballad, it have a nice catchy sound and also amazing vocals by Mike Ness. I think this song is simply excellent. It is the kind of song that prove you the talent of a band and clearly make them take a distance over other bands. You will also see a song like I Want What I Want which is simply great. The album end with an awesome song call Lost Child. This song is very emotional and it's an excellent way to end the album.
First, I would say sometime the quality production of the album is not perfect. I don't think we can't blame the band for this since it's such a good album. Also some people will maybe dislike the mixing of punk and folk in some songs. I think it's maybe the biggest negative aspect,but anyway if you like it, you will really like it.Maybe, also the chance you don't like Mike Ness vocal, I know some people who don't like it, they also say that his voice sound the same on every songs. I think is voice is perfect and match perfectly with the sound Social Distortion are playing. It always depend of taste. Only two songs are weaker on this album, Lawless and No Pain No Gain. They are not bad songs but could have been better.
A classical punk album in my opinion. All songs on this album are good, it have two classical songs, which are It's The Law and Prison Bound. It have great lyrics, excellent sound and amazing vocals. I think any good punk fans will like it, and also some people who like great rock music. It is in my personal favorite albums by Social Distortion. To conclude, I give this album 4.5/5
. People say this album is one of the weakest by Social Distortion, I just don't think so, I think this album is really underated.
It's The Law
I Want What I Want