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Social Distortion: 'Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes' — 4 out of 5 stars

Tags: Music Reviews

An album that has been seven years in the making has become the first great album of 2011. You can tell Social Distortion really took their time in constructing this album, unlike other artists who just write a few crappy songs to get mainstream.

But ranting aside, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes is a great listen. The legendary punk band starts out the album with the fantastic instrumental "Road Zombie" that would make any critic of punk rock love the genre.

Social Distortion keeps the album going with driving, bluesy riffs and twang in songs such as "California (Hustle and Flow)" and "Bakersfield."

"Gimme the Sweet Lowdown" and "Machine Gun Blues" bring back the familiar sound that made fans fall in love with the band 30 years ago.

Although the band formed in 1978 and released its first album in 1983, the music has not aged at all. Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes sounds like a bunch of guys who were sitting around in a car changing the radio station and saying, "Hey you know what would be cool? If someone mixed blues, country and punk together" wrote it.

With that being said, the biggest — and probably only — drawback to this album is that it sounds a lot like every other Social Distortion album. It has always had that alternative or modern sound, but that means old fans will not be disappointed.

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Entry comments

Jan. 27, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.

Brian Francis: Actually I just read a great story about Social Distortion on OurStage. If you're interested in them I recommend checking it out: http://www.ourstage.com/blog/2011/01/26/riffs-rants-rumors-social-distortions-mike-ness-punk-survivor/

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