Social Distortion

It might be going a bit far to place Social Distortion alongside the '80s underground legends who have been so revered of late, but there are mobs out there who would go toe-to-toe with you on that. You know the story: Wasted-years L.A. punks ride the drug train off the deep end, emerge after hitting rock bottom with a Johnny Cash-inspired worldview and sound, somehow retaining all of the scorching, tattooed fury and volume. Is it a money grab for principal Mike Ness to keep the engine running after losing first lieutenant/rhythm guitarist Dennis Dannell to a brain aneurysm in 2000?

Gonna have to go with "no" on that one, even if their last record (2004) was unfortunately named Sex, Love, and Rock N' Roll. In case the ripped jeans, tattoos and wifebeater didn't give it away, this is pretty much who Ness is, and the greatest contribution he can make is to tell us his life story one more time.

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Michael Chamy

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