Sound — 10
Social Distortion has been evolving since day one, each album getting further away from their punk rock roots and moving more and more into rockabilly territory. There isn't much punk sound to be found on this album (if any). Instead there is quite a bit of a country and blues that they channel into their songs. The way way I would describe this album is incredibly roots-y. It may not be the Social D my dad grew up with, but it's a natural progression in the direction they've been going, and I personally really like it. The opening song, "Road Zombie" is very appropriately titled. It feels like I should be listening to it while driving down a long desert road for mile after mile.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics deal with loneliness, lost love, 1930's gangsters, how the band is still alive and kicking and how much the city of Bakersfield sucks (for those of you who haven't been there, the answer is a lot). The song "Can't Take It With You" is kind of existential in that it covers the topic of how money and hard work doesn't matter, cause when you're dead you're just dead: 'All your money, your hard earned pay/It don't mean shit, babe at the end of the day.' Overall, the lyrics are basically the standard fare you'd expect from Social Distortion, which I wouldn't say is a bad thing.
Overall Impression — 9
This album is without a doubt not their most powerful. It doesn't get in your face like Mommy's Little Monster, or get the blood pumping quite like White Light, White Heat, White Trash, but it should definitely not be missed. I would say the best three songs on this album are the instrumental ("Road Zombie"), "Still Alive," and "Can't Take It With You" simply because they've got the most energy. This album really put me in a good mood. Whether it's because Social D finally put out some new material or because it's really good (which I think it is), I don't know. My only complaint is the pace of about half the songs. They're a little slow, and that's something I'd have differently. I'd definitely buy the album again if I lost it and hadn't saved it to the computer. And you should buy it too, it's more than worth the ten bucks.