What hit me was that voice, that barbed-wire yet melodic voice of Mike Ness' that sounded snotty and world-weary all at once.
It was back in the early eighties when the Rodney on the Roq compilations of SoCal punk were warping my taste for all time, that I first heard Mike Ness' Social Distortion detonate the song "1945". When Ness growls those almost standard-issue punk lines, "Flying over Hiroshima, 1945/The city looks small from way up here/I wonder who'll survive", they stay stuck in your brain till you find yourself singing along to that voice.
Ness has never lost that voice, one not notable for its great range but rather for its serrated-edged passion that never gives a song quarter. And his voice as a song-writer voice has also never wavered, every new development seeming to just uncover something we always knew was there but hadn't quite cottoned onto. To mark his early growth, here's footage from the documentary Another State of Mind of the very young Mike Ness taking us through the writing of a deceptively simple song of longing.
1980 demos link is in the comments
Speaking of comments, give us your initial reaction to hearing Social D.
Support the damn band!
Time Bomb Records