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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v10n2 (01/13/2011) » Section: Left of the Dial

Social Distortion - Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes

Given Mike Ness’ love of vintage cars—he sings about cars about, uses them on album covers, and even has them tattooed all over his body—it’s easy and apt compare his band to a 1950s Chevy. It’s that USA-made classic that never seems to get old and, as fads and fashion come and go, that somehow only gets better with the years. Part of its allure might be that it sits in the garage for a stretch, and once it’s finally back out on the open road, one appreciates it all the more. Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes is the first album in seven years by Social Distortion—who have passed the 30-year mark as a band—and proves that long-awaited dustoff and engine rev was worth waiting for. Recording at the famed Ocean Way Studios (which initially smacks of a very un-Social D and more of an Eric Clapton kind of place), for the first time Ness took the chair as sole producer to get his hands in on every detail of the album. The result is the same old Social D but more lean, mean, and with just a little more sheen.

Lemuria - Pebble

You can take the band out of Buffalo, but you can’t take the Buffalo out of the band. When Lemuria formed in the Queen City in 2004, they might have imagined that their emotionally driven indie-pop would lead them around the country. What they might not have imagined is signing to a mostly hardcore but well respected record label, Bridge Nine Records, and releasing a fairly stripped-down and emotionally ripe record with a focus on deep, sometimes secret inner feelings.

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