DISTORTION- Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll (Time
Bomb Recordings) Mike Ness is a fuckin’ legend and probably the
coolest mofo I don’t personally know.
In 1990 he and his bandmates released my favorite record to come
out that year (Social Distortion- I don’t think there’s ever been a finer
sequence of songs than tracks 3,4, 5 &6 on this one than on any album
before or since). I was so
into them that when they came to
to support the record, my incredibly broke ass rolled pennies and took
bottles back just to be able to buy a ticket to see ‘em.
It’s an extremely pleasant surprise that, a full 14 years later,
Mike and company have now put out my favorite album of 2004.
It’s been far too long since a new release has made me really
feel something tangibly,
powerfully good, and I thank Social D. for putting me back on the path of
righteousness with this one.
Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll is Social Distortion’s first studio album
in 8 years. It’s dedicated
to founding member Dennis Danell, who died in 2000.
’s songwriting has never been better, and probably the best song on the
disc, “Don’t Take Me For Granted,” was written specifically for
Danell. It blasts along as a
mighty tribute to a pure spirit with lines like “I’m your worn out
leather jacket/I’m the volume in your fucked up teenage band.”
“Reach For The Sky” and “Live Before You Die” are two of my other
favorites on the disc, and while maybe not specifically about Dennis
Danell, they still embrace the theme of getting the most out of life now
because you never know when the end will come. They’ve got that vintage
Social Distortion salt of the earth mixture of toughness and tenderness,
the music both corkingly manly and gorgeously melodious.
And on these songs and throughout the disc,
’s strong, no-fuckin’-nonsense voice is at its very finest.
Another one that rules is “Nickels And Dimes,” which
beautifully revisits the classic Hank Williams/Johnny Cash-influenced down
and out, diamond in the rough
protagonist. This is starting
to sound more like a press release put out by Time Bomb than an impartial
review by Askew, so I’m gonna shut the fuck up now.
Buy immediately. –Ben Hunter