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Social Distortion – Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes

A lot has happened since the release of “Sex, Love & Rock ‘n’ Roll” back in 2004. Governments have been toppled, the economy has collapsed and entire wars have been fought. All the while Mike Ness couldn’t be bothered though, he was too busy writing nursery rhymes about hard times. Or having a hard time writing nursery rhymes. The latter of which would better explain the slab of pure, unadulterated rock ‘n roll you get to hear on the new Social D album.

There has been a lot of talk about this album coming out. Some of it going back to as early as 2006. Was it going to be the acoustic album Ness was talking about? Or would a new solo album come out first? None of the above…in the end ”Hard Times” turned out to be another trademark Social D album.

“Hard Times” hits off with the instrumental “Road Zombie”, which immediately sets the mood for things to come. Next up we get to witness Social D in full Exile-era Rolling Stones worship mode in “California (Hustle And Flow)”. They pull it off flawlessly, right down to the backup gospel vocals. “Gimme The Sweet And Lowdown” and “Diamond In The Rough” are two vintage Social Distortion songs, followed by the outlaw anthem and first single “Machine Gun Blues”.

The band isn’t afraid to rock out slowly either. Just check out “Bakersfield” or “Writing On The Wall”. After that you are treated to a solid rendition of Hank Williams’ “Alone And Forsaken” after which the band blasts out two barnburners in the form of “Can’t Take It With You” and “Still Alive” which round out another damn fine Social D album.
Score: 8.5 out of 10

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