Self Titled: Social Distortion

Rating: 90%

Social_Distortion_-_Social_Distortion_coverI remember standing in Morgantown, West Virginia in 1990 when I heard the music store playing this album. I was there to pick up M.O.D. and then browse the new releases of the month. When I heard the opening track “So Far Away”, I quickly asked the salesperson who what it that I was listening too? He told me Social D.

Unknown to me at the time, that they were actually considered as a Punk band, I thought they were just a plain Rock n Roll band. I picked up the album along with M.O.D. and we headed back to Oakland, Maryland. The journey homeward, I just fell in love with the band’s style of music. To me it was refreshing. It wasn’t long afterward that I began to hear the band’s music being played on 98 Rock. Although, this was Social D’s third album, it was their first commercial success. The radio stations were playing “Ball and Chain” and “Story of My Life.”

The musicianship is very tight. Mike Ness on lead vocals and lead guitar, Dennis Danell on guitar, John Maurer on bass and Christopher Reece on drums. Musically, this album has a bit of everything. It’s got punk, it’s got blues, it’s got rhythm, it’s got a tad bit of country and a whole lot of Rock n’ Roll. All of these influences blended by the band makes their music so genuine.

Structurally, this album is very solid with some to very little fill in, but, it’s sound just great. It’s got a lot of melody and harmony. The music has a lot of fast and upbeat tempos that is done up in old fashion rockabilly way. The album features some great guitar riffs and some really amazing guitar leads. Vocally, Ness is so unique that once you hear a song, whether it be his style of playing or his vocals, you’ll known right away that it’s Social D. Social D has been one of my favorite bands since 1990 and I always look forward to a new release of theirs when I hear news of one coming.

Track listing:

“So Far Away”  – 3:37
“Let It Be Me” – 4:16
“Story of My Life” – 5:48
“Sick Boys” – 3:19
“Ring of Fire” (June Carter Cash, Merle Kilgore) – 3:51
“Ball and Chain” – 5:44
“It Coulda Been Me” – 3:52
“She’s a Knockout” – 3:52
“A Place in My Heart” – 3:15
“Drug Train” – 3:42

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