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Social Distortion
"Social Distortion"

© Epic Records

Year of Release: 1990

track listing
  • So Far Away
  • Let It Be Me
  • Story Of My Life
  • Sick Boys
  • Ring Of Fire
  • Ball And Chain
  • fsIt Coulda Been Me
  • She's A Knockout
  • A Place In My Heart
  • Drug Train

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    Social Distortion
    "Social Distortion"

    Social Distortion's third album of their career, the self-titled Social Distortion -- defines Punk meeting Rock. More on the Punk side, this album definitely should attract much attention. It's Punk Rock. It's Rock. It's Rock and Roll, with the Punk edge. Imagine The Stray Cats on a more rougher Punk/Rock edge. Or the harder punk rock style of Green Day. Social Distortion is compared to The Clash, The Sex Pistols (just a little), The Cramps. This is an album of pure Punk meeting Rock, or vice versa.

    This album's highlight track, is the cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire." In fact, with the Punk meets Country, or as some called it "cowpunk," pretty much this whole album could be Country tunes, transferred into Country turns into the Punk Rock style. (If not Country, then its probably Rockabilly.) With the exception of the first two tracks (which sounds more like Punk than that of Rock), the rest of the album has more of Rock, yet its meeting the fate of Punk.

    As mentioned, the firset two tracks sounds more like Punk -- "So Far Away" has more of the edge of The Sex Pistols (which was a band that Social Distortion was inspired by). Likewise, "Let It Be Me" is more like Punk, than that of Rock. Yet these two songs easily fits the rest of the album. With the cover version of "Ring Of Fire," "Story Of My Life" has that same atmosphere. It would be interesting to hear well known Rock and Country songs, giving them the Punk conversion. Another great example of this, which would easily be bonded together with Social Distortion's "Ring Of Fire" cover, would be The Clash's version of the Bobby Fuller Four classic, "I Fought The Law."

    As for the remaining tracks, they are all highly recorded well. Converting the Punk Rock style into Rock (or even Country/ROckabilly), the sound creates a great "Punk Meets Rock." They all have their own Rock edged style. It's almo to mention, that what makes this "Punk Meets Rock" class, is the lead vocalist - Mile Ness. His Punk singing style can be compared to the Sex Pistols, with its roughness. It makes every track on Social Distortion worthwhile. His singing makes the album, matching the roughness of his singing style to the rough=styled Rock/Punk mix.

    The self-titled Social Disttortion became the band's first major label album. It was reviewed by critics better than their previous two releases, and is often credited as the band's best known work. The album was also known for being one of the best rock albums of 1990, the year of its release. The album is said to "split the difference between rockbilly and Ramones-style punk."

    Whether you call it Rock, Punk Rock, Cowpunk, or Rockabilly Punk, Social Distortion is an album worth listening to. Merging Rock with Punk, it also has a somewhat nostalgic style. Is it Rock and Roll, or Punk? It's still a great album, whatever musical style you want to call it.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Epic Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1707
    Gordon Jenkins--The Gordon Jenkins Collection Featuring Manhattan Tower
    Next Review: #1709
    Various Artists--American Idol Season 7: The Moments