Donnerstag, 24. März 2011

ROAD ZOMBIE riding lonely thru the dark night like a DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH while CALIFORNIA desperatly cries the MACHINE GUN BLUES, while in BAKERSFIELD they use to be STILL ALIVE, and the ALONE AND FORSAKEN try everything to finally understand the WRITING ON THE WALL...

("Epitaph Records"; CD):
This was (and still is) a hard one for me... Since back then in 1996 I saw the almighty SOCIAL DISTORTION live I am a huge, huge fan on this outstanding band. Their record "WHITE LIGHT, WHITE HEAT, WHITE TRASH" is even today one of the best albums that had ever been recorded and released in the history of music (not even 'just' Punkrock or Rock & Roll music) and it's still totally larger-than-life and 'unbeaten' and 'unrivalved' today. It was the first SOCIAL DISTORTION album that I used to call my own. Then came the phenomenal "LIVE AT THE ROXY" live album of them, one of the very best live recordings ever, and after this for years nothing new used to come out and I worked myself deep into their earlier releases, fell in love with every single damn fucking one of them. When "SEX, LOVE AND ROCK'N'ROLL" finally came out the world used to shine in a whole new 'brighter' light, it hell sure not beaten or only rivalved the "WHITE LIGHT, WHITE HEAT, WHITE TRASH" masterpiece but it anyhow set the standards new. And then, after again far too many years without any new SOCIAL DISTORTION material being released, at the beginning of 2011 the new album finally was released, "HARD TIMES AND NURSEY RHYMES" (via the legendary "EPITAPH RECORDS" label). I already received it a week before it was officially released (thanks to my dear ressource out there that wants to stay anonymous... Thanks a lot!!!) and this was some time over the first days of January 2011... and now we have pretty much something like maybe the final days of March 2011 and even today I don't really know what to write anyhow here about this record. I talked some time like one-and-a-half-month-or-so-ago at a concert with Renee ("All Hail, my dear friend!!!") and Julian (Also to you: "All Hail, my dear friend!!!") about it... and listened to it since then again and again and again and again... uncountable times I've listened to it since I received it at the very beginning of this very year here and now... And still I feel uncomfortable with writing finally down this review... Like you all now may already understood is that I can't beat the feeling that this record is just somehow not really 'enough'!!! It's not something like a dissapointment or something like this, no, no, no, it's just not 'enough', it leaves me unsatisfied, it not keeps me satisfied, it's like a heartless relation to a phenomenal woman you may would call a true bomb but she's giving you somehow nothing, you know you should be lucky and satisfied and all but you just only know that you are nothing like this, you just feel somehow left 'empty' and when-ever you may get to her, see her, 'take' her you really don't feel comfortable and there's also no real 'kick' in it and then when you have to leave her again you feeling somehow bad and sad because you know that this can't be everything and that this relation should and also could hold so much more for you (and her) in store like it really does but then you feel also lucky that you can leave her and be without her and on your own again, knowing that this all is damn close to being nothing you're left unsatisfied and only feel somehow 'empty' but you also can't let loose, can't let her go and leave her because you know that there is waiting somewhere somehow much more with her for you (and her) and so you give it again and again and again another try and a 'always-new' round always more or less with the same outcome and you find yourself somehow stucked in a pretty vicious circle where you don't find or only see some way out... That's maybe a pretty abstract and 'metaphorical' describtion but it really describes pretty good how I feel with this album. SOCIAL DISTORTION have grown up, but that already over an decade or so ago, and today they somehow became old, somehow old and tired. Don't know, maybe today you shouldn't talk about SOCIAL DISTORTION as a proper band but more of MIKE NESS and some musicians (and friends) playing together with him, but that's not so important after all. The Punkrock is pretty much completly gone, today SOCIAL DISTORTION do play a mixture out of classical storytelling American Rock music, some few good old Rock & Roll impressions, some few Country influences, a huge dose of Blues and also Soul, as well as a lot of Singer-Songwriter marks, and only very few Punkrock notes to it. Combine the 'old'/'older' SOCIAL DISTORTION with BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, JOE STRUMMER, JOHNNY CASH and loads of Blues and Soul and also some (melancholical) Rock & Roll and you pretty much know about the "HARD TIMES AND NURSEY RHYMES". It's done great just looking at the skills of the musicians, no matter if it comes to playing their instruments or to writing songs, especially the guitar playing (riffs, leads, solos) and the brilliant lead vocals of MIKE NESS really shine, and the pretty often to be recognized hammond (?) organ is also just great, and not to forget about the 'soulish' (pretty often female) back up vocals, and that the very, very well-versed and diverse rhythm section is also just a great 'thing', and this all without only one single doubt about it. The problem is that this record is really lacking a lot of power and also somehow 'emotional-diversity', it's all too much the one and only single mood all the time, and as much as I love SOCIAL DITORTION and MIKE NESS I really just have to admit that when I want to listen to some BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (and I want this very, very often, you might can say daily) then I still listen to the unbeaten and unbeatable original one, 'The Boss' himself, because even SOCIAL DISTORTION and MIKE NESS can't beat BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN even they try their best and fail like only true champions can and do fail in the end. And there's also this other problem with this album that I described above in and with the 'relation-metaphor' (or at least I tried to describe it with it) and that I can't really describe better. I really feel that this is a great (and even more) album but somehow I just can't find an entry to this potential or maybe this album can't find an entry to me and so we live 'alone-together' (to return to the metaphor for the last time again) being left unsatisfied with each other and with that what we two together have... Without a single doubt this here is a damn good album, but and even it could be so much more... What's still phenomenal is the storytelling ability of MIKE NESS and the great diverse and multi-layered Underdog lyrics he do write. Also the production sound- very warm, earthy and dirty- is just great, and the artwork looks phenomenal good. Anyhow... Best songs are for sure "MACHINE GUN BLUES", "CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU" (also some great ZZ-TOP influences, as well as a lot of good old Rhythm'n'Blues marks to be recognized in this one), "BAKERSFIELD", "ALONE AND FORSAKEN", and "STILL ALIVE", these songs really shine, point and fact. Okay... Maybe your relationship with this album won't be a somehow heartless one like the relation that this album and I do have (as described above one or two times), so just go out and check it... even I think everyone of you out there interested in it already calls it his/her own... Maybe I should take a break from this 'relation' for a while and maybe then I'll try it later again, if we two then can still agree on/to each other... (8 of 10 points)

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