Rolling Stone - 6/28/903 Stars
- Good - "..Ness's guitar playing is pure adrenalin, and his knack for melodies...lends even his most cliched lyrics a kick.."
Spin - 7/90
"..This album serves as a reminder that these boys are still punks at heart, but there's now a blues-inflected sound that wasn't evident in the early days...now, with their new clean and sober stance, we can all be privy to their distorted vision.."
Personnel: Mike Ness (vocals, guitar); Dennis Danell (guitar); John Maurer (bass guitar, background vocals); Christopher Reece (drums, snare drum).
Audio Mixer: Dave Jerden.
Recording information: Track Record Studios, North Hollywood, CA.
Illustrator: Art Morales.
Photographer: John Scarpati.
The group's self-titled third album expands on the ideas introduced on the preceding PRISON BOUND. Singer/songwriter Mike Ness offers post-rehab tales from the wrong side of the tracks, alternately lamenting his past and declaring his allegiance to the rock & roll outlaw lifestyle. The band's slamming punk attack is leavened by an increased country and roots-rock flavor, as on a no-holds-barred cover of "Ring of Fire," the gospel-tinged plea for salvation "Ball and Chain," and the almost bouncy, where-did-I-go-wrong blues-rock track "Story of My Life" (sort of an anti-"My Way"). Most importantly, Ness's songwriting skills had sharpened considerably, providing for an expanded melodic palate and numerous infectious choruses, a fact not lost on radio and MTV, where SOCIAL DISTORTION was met with enthusiasm.