# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Social Distortion - Sex, Love And Rock 'n' Roll

  by Alex Halls

published: 19 / 11 / 2004

Social Distortion - Sex, Love And Rock 'n' Roll
Label: Time Bomb
Format: CD


Melodic blues punk from the much acclaimed Social Distortion, back after an absence of eight years, with a new album which proves to be the punk community's "own ultimate chill-out album"

From the very first riff it is noticeable why Social Distortion are seen as one of the integral parts of the Los Angeles hardcore scene of the late 80's and early 90s. Many quote this band as their inspiration but few have reached their level as they were and, with 'Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll', remain the ultimate kings of blues-laced punk rock ‘n’ roll. The melodic styling of lead singer Mike Ness is all in evidence with this striking return: after all they have been away for 8 years, a period which has witnessed the unfortunate death of band guitarist and founding member Dennis Danell. Sometimes time lets us forget just how good things were before, yet a nudge in the right place occasionally helps in rekindling the fires of old. This is not to say modern music doesn’t have its merits, for it truly does, but no one in their right mind would discard Picasso if he were to emerge once again more mature and serene, would they ? Ness’ maturity immediately comes across in 'Reach For The Sky' where we see the realisation of Danell’s death and Ness’ battle with drug addiction, here advising the world to try and savour each and every moment, as tomorrow may never come. There are poignant moments such as these at sporadic intervals on 'Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll', adding greater integrity to Social Distortion’s continued musical journey. In reality many of the songs could be mistaken for sounding the same, however, 'Highway 101' exhibits the pure genius of Ness' songwriting skills on this album, tying in catchy riffs with tuneful vocals and occasional romanticized lyrics. Throughout 'Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll', Social Distortion, in each additional song, add an extra layer in their attempt to create Asgard, a realm of gods, which in its miraculousness cleverly enables the listener to drift off into an almost comatose sense of tranquillity, remaining aware of where the album is heading throughout. It therefore comes as a surprise to hear 'Nickels And Dimes 'suddenly hit the aural cavity with more venom, snapping the listener out of their trance and this is one of the tracks that may be categorized as having a more pop-oriented style, which may well be due to second composer Jonny Wickersham’s involvement in the creation of this and a couple of other songs. This slight pop-orientation does nothing to detract from the album and perhaps opens Social Distortion to a newer market. This album is probably less defining than Social Distortion’s previous releases but still captures the emotions Mike Ness has always tried to convey. 'Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll' clearly demonstrates how personal tragedies can influence the mood of music, but, however, it deftly remains positive throughout. For melodic punk-based music look no further than Social Distortion, who have returned in an attempt to re-monopolise this scene again. If you are looking for something edgier then 'Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll' will disappoint as, now, following in the footsteps of most other music genres, the punk community has its own ultimate chill-out album, ideal as a welcome after a hard day at work.

Track Listing:-
1 Reach For The Sky
2 Highway 101
3 Don't Take Me For Granted
4 Footprints On My Ceiling
5 Nickels And Dimes
6 I Wasn't Born To Follow
7 Winner And Losers
8 Faithless
9 Live Before You Die
10 Angel's Wings

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