January 19, 2011

Social Distortion - Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes (2011)

Apoptosis says: I still remember my best friend’s dad teaching us the words to “Ball and Chain” in 7th grade. I have been a Social Distortion fan ever since. I can’t say I was excited or hopeful for their new album (they were anything but moving last time I saw them live), so as I listen to their first album in 7 years I am unsurprisingly overwhelmed with a sense of ennui. You can call Social Distortion a punk/alt-country/rock band all you want, but this new album is just plain boring, regardless of what genre the band fits into now or 30 years ago. 

I understand Mike Ness is no longer a heroin riddled punk kid roaming the streets, and that the ideas behind songs like "Mommy’s Little Monster" and "Prison Bound" no longer apply to his married-with-two-kids current life, but seriously, I think you could come up with better lyrics then "I’m still alive and I can survive." The instrumental opener “Road Zombie” and “Machine Gun Blues” shine through while “Bakersfield” and “Writing on the Wall” had me cringing and hoping for a short track. “California (Hustle and Flow)” fits perfectly in a Ford Tough truck commercial: nauseating. And seriously, there is really a song with Drifters “This Magic Moment” lyrics in it? While still a tight and proficient band, the lack of creativity and passion leaves me wanting the 7 years back that I have spent waiting for SxDx’s next album and the $35 I paid for a ticket to their show next month.


awmercy said...

Man, that always bums me out.

I saw them maybe about 4 or 5 years ago and had a good time singing/shouting along to the classics, but then again that night was fueled by copious amounts of alcohol. So maybe that's the way to go. You never want to confront nostalgia sober.