Garden State Skate: Soundcheck

Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes

Mike Ness is going on 50 years old, his music has grown and matured with him. Don'tcha love reading reviews that say they aren't "punk" anymore, or have "lost their edge"? From Social D's eighties' "Prison Bound" on up, they have been, and always will be a ROCK & ROLL band with few peers. About half of these songs have been in and out of Social D's setlists for years now, so some may be turned off that this is not all "new" material, but for the rest of us, it's finally good to hear these songs layed down in the studio. Lets rundown a few...

California (Hustle & Flow)- A classic rock & roll riff (hints of Black Crowes southern chinka-tang rhythms), background gospel singers, not the best lyrics Ness has ever written, but a sugar-sweet, light beer song overall.
Gimme the Sweet and Lowdown- Classic low-key SD. Sounds like it could have been on Sex, Love, & Rock n' Roll. Meh.
Machine Gun Blues- Back to what you love in this one. The most popular song on the disc on iTunes. Good summer rock song...
Bakersfield- This song is not new and is certainly not brief. A pretty little ditty about being away from your lady, while hoping things rock on when she comes back. The spoken part fails here, but it's still an OK song.
Far Side of Nowhere- A hoppy poppy fresh yet familair SD offering. Good to get going with what you're doing providing it's not sleeping.

Overall, good solid album. Has a few cheese flakes where it seems Ness tries too hard to sound hard. A freshy rock record, which is EXACTLY what the music industry needs right now. Too bad it won't get the attention it deserves. Well worth the long, long wait. Go see them and enjoy with a beer.

The Figurados : "Lesson Two"
is a follow-up to their debut album, "Divine Spirits, Holy Smoke." Released in June of 2010, the CD further explores the group's definition of "Alternative Classic Rock" with song styles ranging from '80s power pop, gospel, hard rock, and Texas blues. The 13-song release also offers a more varied range of guest musicians, featuring contributions from David Piggott (Monte Montgomery), Zhenya Rock (Arthur Brown), Danny G. (Mother Truckers), Dave Anthony (Michelle Malone), Danielle Hamilton (River City Christianettes), and Bryan Anderton (Flatlanders) to name just a few.

BAD RELIGION: The Dissent of Man
Bad Religion is celebrating thirty years of influential, thought provoking and groundbreaking punk rock with a new record and 15th studio album, “The Dissent Of Man.” The result is one of the band’s most forward thinking and musically varied albums ever. Not your father’s skate-punk-rock music, but, actually it is / was your dad sh!t...
Great tunes, almost. Punchy ire and thought proviking sonic smack-down, yeah, kinda... Hop on your buds and give these 15 new songs a piece of your ear. First up, The Day the Earth Stood Still. The thing about this song is it’s like a harmonized, all-out assault of noise by way of vocal machine-gunning, guitars and percussion. Every musical element is tight in this snapshot of life and time.
Aside from the spectacular “Only Rain” - legitimately one of the best songs the band has produced since their heyday - and the great but unintentionally-funny “Wrong Way Kids” most of the songs take a flavor of mid-tempo alt-rock snackcake with mixed toppings. “Cyanide” turns out to be a great countryesque rock-a-roo (with leads provided by Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers fame) by referencing of all things a Wallflowers riff/song structure to great effect, whereas “I Won’t Say Anything” is the most unexpectedly subdued BR album closer yet, but also one of the most delicate songs the band has written yet.
With The Dissent Of Man, BR is dazzling us with many more styles of rock in their arsenal. They could have made a half-assed follow-up to New Maps Of Hell but went in a completely different, big-boy direction that pays off creatively. Look to this album as a taste of yetserday with the spit of today.