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Social Distortion - White Light, White Heat, White Trash (Cover Artwork)

Social Distortion

Social Distortion: White Light, White Heat, White TrashWhite Light, White Heat, White Trash (1996)
Social Distortion

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: sickboiChris
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In the short history that is punk rock, icons have come and gone. We've witnessed the birth of the genre with bands such as the Stooges, the Velvet Underground and the Ramones. Punk began to take on an identity with the Sex Pistols and the Clash. But it may not have been until the immergence of what.
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In the short history that is punk rock, icons have come and gone. We've witnessed the birth of the genre with bands such as the Stooges, the Velvet Underground and the Ramones. Punk began to take on an identity with the Sex Pistols and the Clash. But it may not have been until the immergence of what could be the third wave, band such as Minor Threat, Black Flag, Bad Religion and Social Distortion; did punk become regularly accepted by a wider scope of listeners.

Social Distortion may be one of the most widely overlooked bands when the legends or icons of punk are examined. Maybe its because of the smaller catalog in comparison with counterparts such as Bad Religion. Nonetheless, many newer fans today may not realize the rift caused when Social D dropped "White Light, White Heat, White Trash" in 1996.

"White Light...." adopted a newer, heavier, and almost fresher style for Social D, very different from anything they had ventured to previously. The introductory track 'Dear Lover', shows flashes of previous rockabilly tendencies, yet has a very forceful effect with its powerful lyrics and heavy riffs.

Most notably may have been the wide radio and television play of the album's first single 'I Was Wrong'. While many longtime fans may have become disgruntled with the public's acceptance of the newer Social D, the odd coincidence was that this single probably resembles the classic sound more than any other track on the album.

The primary focus of the album is a mixture of feelings, from the deeply personal 'When the Angels Sing', a heartfelt homage from frontman Mike Ness to his late grandmother (whom would even wear the band's t-shirts while shopping in support of her grandson); to the socially conscious "Don't Drag Me Down", with its moving lyrics about racism, nationalism and a gaggle of other issues. This is quite possibly one of the hardest songs the band has ever written.

After Ness's battles with personal demons such as depression and drug addiction, there's no question as to where the dark feeling of the album comes from. (Even the cover of the Rolling Stone's "Under my Thumb" has a sinister feel to it.)

At the time of its release, I was puzzled as to where I stood with this album. It take Social Distortion in a direction that I was unfamiliar with them going, and made me question their stability. However, with its passionate lyrics, laced with heavy undertones; this is unquestionable a milestone in the legacy of Social Distortion.

Additionally, the new songs fused in live shows with older material make "White Light..." seem like a natural progression of a legend. If one looks again at the history of punk rock, a genre so filled with elitism, and unacceptance of change and progression, its amazing the astounding amount of support the scene continues to offer Social Distortion. If anything, Social D can be seen as the model band for others follow. Craft your own sound, perfect it, then use that sound to build onto what you've already created. And thus is the formula for Social Distortion, and the culmination leading to "White Light, Whit Heat, White Trash".

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Rancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesSocial Distortion - Sex, Love and Rock 'n' RollSocial Distortion - Social DistortionSocial Distortion - Somewhere Between Heaven And HOperation Ivy - Operation IvyBad Religion - The Empire Strikes FirstBad Religion - Stranger Than FictionSocial Distortion - Live at the RoxyAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseNOFX - Punk In Drublic

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Nirvana1000 (September 4, 2010)

This is the CD that made me a huge Social D fan.I love the dark,raw,edgy and powerful production.Dear Lover is my all time favourite Social D song.Followed by Don't Drag Me Down,Through These Eyes,When the Angels Sing,I Was Wrong,Pleasure Seeker and the awesome cover of Under My Thumb.It's a weird that i was going through a rough time of my life when i bought this CD and i instantly could relate to the lyrics.I have listened to this CD countless times.I'm surprised it is still playable.Although the rest of Social D's catalogue doesn't sound quite the same.I have come to know and love all the classics.And for all the haters.Pay no attention to their comments.Because there are way more true fans then them.Social D are true Punk legends!

Godfather (October 4, 2005)

my favorite social distortion record

Anonymous (May 25, 2005)

Don't Drag Me Down = Best fucking song, ever.

Anonymous (October 19, 2004)

Not Social-D's best album by my tastes (I like S/T and Heaven and Hell more) but still an amazing piece of work. Mike Ness is a great song writer.

For you anti-country whiners- Get some historic prespective. Country/rockabilly was the true rebel music of the 40s and 50s and into the 60s. Guys like Cash, Haggard, Perkins etc were singing outlaw music back before punk was a gleam in Sid Vicious's daddy's eye. Mike Ness understands this and distills their spirit into Social D's music. Punk is more than power cords or It sucks to be a teen.

Anonymous (November 29, 2003)

GREAT ALBUM!!! "dont drag me down" is the best song ive ever heard from a band from so cal

rightcliqificus (May 12, 2003)

thats funny shit man!

bad religion should do a ranching song. that'd be funny. it be called "i love my new tractor" ... a sequel to the highly loved "i love my computer"

recordings (December 21, 2002)

haa nice one wyzo.

burn the bitches who dont do their homework.

Anonymous (December 21, 2002)

"let me take you to the herding ground..." Yeah, ok cleedus.

For the record, that bad religion song has the words "let me take you to the hurting ground"

So i think your just trying to deny that cows and grazing are always on your mind, i mean your beginning to hear shit about ranching in bad religion songs, I'd get that checked out.

wyzo

Anonymous (December 21, 2002)

You spelled Cletus wrong

Anonymous (December 20, 2002)

Great review! Social D is one of the reasons I wanted to learn to play guitar. I defiantly put this record in there top three but it doesn’t even hold a candle to Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell.

What’s beautiful about this band is the divisions in the punk genre that they can smash down. Aside from punkers, Social D's music can be loved by people into country, blues, hair metal, and classic rock.

The best description I've ever heard of Social Distortion came from a friend of mine who was trying to explain what D's music was about. He simply said "Tough guy love songs."

Anonymous (December 20, 2002)

this is a wicked album, and a wicked band. Don't Drag Me Down is an amazing song.

TheOneTrueBill (December 20, 2002)

I get chills going up my spine whenever I hear "Don't Drag Me Down" one of my all time favorite songs, from one of my all time favorite bands, on my favorite album. Two weeks don't go by where i don't listen to this album. It's that good.

Anonymous (December 20, 2002)

yehaww, lemme grab my chaps

Anonymous (December 20, 2002)

Social Distortion are bastards. Their music is crap, and I don't care about you jackoff's who "respect" them because they're older punk. They sound like country music put to a fast pace and loud drums. I get the same feeling from bad religion...and that feeling was only reinforced more when i heard things like, "let me take you to the herding ground..." Yeah, ok cleedus.

Anonymous (December 20, 2002)

Amen brother, dont drag me down is some infectious stuff-oldpunker-

recordings (December 19, 2002)

dont drag me down has by far one of the most infectious riffs ive ever heard. social distortion is good, good stuff.

i do believe this is one of the best reveiws ive seen on here as well. very well written.

Anonymous (December 19, 2002)

and does anyone else ever notice that whenever a truely good band or album or show is reviewed there is no pointless bickering on the comments page. it's just the true music fans, the ones who really appreciate good music who share their thoughts.


Thats because WussEmoRock isn't involved.

evildeadalive (December 19, 2002)

hmmm.... I always really liked 'I was Wrong', but never actually picked up this album. Maybe I just thought this would be a more mainstreamish album... Apparently I was wrong. Haha.. not funny... well maybe now after reading this review and comments, I'll get off my ass and pick this one up...

Anonymous (December 19, 2002)

deffinately a superb album.

and does anyone else ever notice that whenever a truely good band or album or show is reviewed there is no pointless bickering on the comments page. it's just the true music fans, the ones who really appreciate good music who share their thoughts.

none of those messageboard flooding internet know-it-all's are able to make a smartass, punker than thou, remark.

Social D rules.

Anonymous (December 18, 2002)

Mike Ness is one of the best songwriters out there.

And yeah, I noticed the same thing with WussEmoRock too..

Anonymous (December 18, 2002)

Yea I think more people are realizing that this album is great. I guess it got slammed at the time cause of the more mainstream sound. But I think it allows Ness's songwriting abilities to really shine through. These songs get stuck in your head for days.

On another note. Notice WussEmoROck doesn't comment on great albums like this. Only the Sum41Blink182 bullshit. haha.

Anonymous (December 18, 2002)

great album but I still have to go with Mommy's Little Monster as Social D's best effort.

Anonymous (December 18, 2002)

Finally!!!social distortion is represented,great review,legendary band,pure punk fuckin rock-oldpunker-

Anonymous (December 18, 2002)

This album is really good, I don't see why everyone "punk" has a problem with it. "Down on the world again" is one of my favourite Social D songs, I even rate it higher than Mommy's Little Monster (personally). Also, that is one hell of a title.

pope_schlomo (December 17, 2002)

Great album but I too like the self titled album. But who gives a fuck...Social D rocks!

Ramo

Anonymous (December 17, 2002)

i was listening to social d earlier...good, good band.

Tahoejeff (December 17, 2002)

Nice review..I love this album, Dont drag me down and when angels sing are both on my list of all time favorites.

Anonymous (December 17, 2002)

this album rules. mike ness, if you're out there...get that new album out, NOW. - bigjerk

Anonymous (December 17, 2002)

great album and really good review. This was one of those albums that helped get me interested in punk and social d. can't wait for the new one, hopefully it will be as good as this one.

-moldy
(aubin please email me my password this sucks)

Anonymous (December 17, 2002)

I like it a lot. Not my fav Social D album, but still all shades of excellent. Even the religious songs are good. Normally those kinds of songs bug me, so praise goes to Mike Ness for pulling it off without being preachy or annoying. I'd rank the Social D albums as: 1) Live at the Roxy 2) Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell 3) Mommy's Little Monster 4) s/t 5) White Light White Heat White Trash 6) Prison Bound 7) Mainliner. So I rank this one down kinda far, but keep in mind that I love them all except Mainliner. They may not put out albums too often, but when they do, they're great. Better quality than quantity.

FAKESMILE (December 17, 2002)

I like this album, but I still think their self titled is the best thing they ever done.

Anonymous (December 17, 2002)

What a great, great band this is. Probably one of the most underrated punk bands ever. "I Was Wrong" is one of my personal fav. songs of all time. And Mike Ness is one of the best songwriters out there.

Despite this album being close to 7 years old, it's nice to see some Social D on this site.

Good review.

waste_elite (December 17, 2002)

everyone bags on this album but i really like. it's different but that doesn't mean it's bad.

"i was wrong" is one of my favorite social d songs.

very nice review.

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