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Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell

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Album Review

Social Distortion finally achieves the perfect balance between their two major influences, the country anguish of Johnny Cash and the furious punk rock sound of early Clash, on their 1992 album Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, making it the band's finest hour. The band tears through a fair share of rollicking, straight-ahead hard rock with songs like "Cold Feelings" and "When She Begins," but they also show a reflective, heartfelt, country-inspired side with songs like "This Time Darlin'" and the hard rock tribute to "Folsom Prison Blues," the cold blooded, murderous tale "99 to Life." At times the band slows down the pace a bit more than on earlier albums, but the band hasn't lost any of the edge or attitude they had as the brash young punks who recorded Mommy's Little Monster. Social Distortion classics "Bad Luck" and "Born to Lose" find a more mature Mike Ness still continuing to play the familiar role of the steadfast underdog with better results than in previous efforts. This album had all the earmarks of a major commercial success with some radio friendly tunes and strong production, but it never found the large audience Epic records expected. Regardless of the sales totals, Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell finds Orange County's most enduring punk band, Social Distortion, at their creative peak, and this album is the crown jewel of their entire catalog.

Customer Reviews

Music with Grunt!

Before this morning I'd never heard of Social Distortion. By evening I was the proud owner of "Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell", plus other various singles from this band. Why, do I hear you ask? Well, I've always appreciated anyone who can really belt out a song or instrumental piece . . . you know . . . get it out there with strength and passion . . . whether it was Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic through a thunderous Beethoven symphony, Barbra Streisand giving a musical number all she's got or Green Day doing what they do best. So while listening to an "Alternative" internet radio station, I heared "Ball and Chain" by Social Distortion and I was hooked! I love this song and came onto iTunes looking for more . . . and got more of what I always want . . . and love . . . GRUNT! These punk rockers, lead singer/songwriter Mike Ness and his boys, know how to get their stuff out there . . . personally expressing the highs and lows of their lives through their work with real fervor. "Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell" is an awesome example of this, man, even the cover art, featuring a youthfully wild Mike Ness, pushes some in-ya-face attitude! My final comment is . . . Mike and the boys . . . you go for it . . . keep those grunty tunes (with Mike's rugged vocals) coming . . . I'll be listening!

Social D's finest.

With songs like Bye Bye Baby, When She Begins, 99 To Life, Sometimes I Do, Ghost Town Blues & Cold Feelings it becomes extremely hard not to like Social D. With Mike Ness' awesome ability to tell stories through songs matched with great music I have to give the honour of the best Social D CD to Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell


Formed: 1978 in Fullerton, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The enduring L.A. punk band Social Distortion has overcome numerous personnel shifts, the demise of the Los Angeles hardcore scene that spawned them, and the heroin addiction of singer/guitarist/bandleader Mike Ness to achieve a measure mainstream acceptance for their rootsy, hard-hitting punk without compromise. Inspired by the fertile L.A. punk scene, Ness formed the group in 1978 with drummer Casey Royer and brothers Frank (bass) and Rikk Agnew (guitar). When the brothers left to join the Adolescents,...
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