Critic’s Pick – Social Distortion
By Matt Clevenger
Fans of punk, rockabilly, country and blues should check out the long-awaited new Social Distortion album “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes,” just released on the band’s new label Epitaph Records Tuesday, Jan. 18. Formed in 1979, Social Distortion were among the founding fathers of American punk, and are known for their unique, country-influenced crossover hits including “Story of My Life,” “Ball and Chain” and “Ring of Fire.” Produced by Social D front man Mike Ness himself, “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes” is the band’s first new album since 2004, and second studio release since the death of guitarist and founding member Dennis Dannell in 2000. The highly anticipated album also represents Social Distortion’s official debut since signing to punk/indie giant Epitaph Records in early 2010. Samples of two songs from the new album, “Machine Gun Blues” and “California (Hustle and Flow),” can be heard through links on the band’s web site at www.socialdistortion.com and more information can also be found at the Epitaph Records site at www.epitaph.com.