Social Distortion - Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes

Embarrassing admission time. Despite this being their seventh album in a career spanning over 30 years, this is the first time I have knowingly heard any songs by Social Distortion and, if Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes is a fair representation of their canon, then I need to engage in some serious back catalogue rummaging. The blistering instrumental ‘Road Zombie’ kicks things off in fine style and what follows is a good old fashioned, no-nonsense, rock ‘n’ roll record with a punk-tinged edge. The rollicking lead off single ‘Machine Gun Blues’ is a particular highlight but the impetus it provides is slightly dissipated by the mawkish bar room ballad ‘Bakersfield’ which overstays its welcome by a good three minutes. That, however, is a minor blip as ‘Far Side Of Nowhere’ and the Mark Lanegan-like tones of ‘Alone And Forsaken’ return the band to safer, rocking ground. As the final chords of closer ‘Still Alive’ fade away, you are left with the sneaky feeling that the recent success of the likes of The Gaslight Anthem and The Hold Steady have pushed Social Distortion into creating a thoroughly entertaining, good time, rock ‘n’ roll album.



out of 10
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