Sunday, April 19, 2015

AntiCurrent Archives Vol 11: Social Distortion: Lost & Found (the WLWHWT Demos)

This is the eleventh edition of the "AntiCurrent.com Archives", a collection of rare bootleg-albums I'm releasing through this blog. Click here to view all past AntiCurrent.com Archive Albums.

By the time I was 16 years old I was completely taken by Punk Rock. Every weekend I was driving to nearby cities and searching record stores, pawn shops, thrift stores, and anywhere else that may have any type of old Punk CD's or LP's. My best find? A sealed copy of Social Distortion's "Live At The Roxy", complete with the original price sticker from CD Connection where I can only assume it was stolen from. "LaTR" was a live album where the lead singer curses at the audience and talks of excess. Plus, it was recorded in fabled Los Angeles... needless to say for the next two months, that album was on endless repeat.

Now Defunct Social Distortion
Fansite
Also about this time I had just got the internet, so when I wasn't furiously masturbating, I was discovering anything I could about the band. Right away, I joined a fan message-board that centered around them (the now defunct SxDx.com). It was there that I was able to talk to a close-knit community of Punks, Psychobillies, and others about the scene that Social Distortion came from, Orange County. The people on that board were warm, insightful, and actually had intellectual things to say on the topic of music. I was fucking spellbound. The OC scene quickly became all that I researched. This all led directly to my moving to Fullerton, CA in 2005 and never looking back.

To rewind a bit, I first heard about this album (also known as Lost Tracks Vol 2) on said message-board from the Webmaster. He told me about a deleted album that he had got from one of the band's web-developers (as my memory serves). This was a demo version for what almost became the album "White Light, White Heat, White Trash". But most importantly, many of these songs had never seen the light of day. He didn't feel comfortable sending it via the internet, so he agreed to give me a physical CDR of it after a show in Columbus Ohio. I was more excited about getting the album than I was the damn show I was attending.

White Light White Heat, White Trash Demos
Front Cover
We met up and he was just as cool of a guy in person as he was on the internet. I took the album home, and it was even more amazing than I could have hoped. Flash forward to many years later, the album had still not been widely circulated... until I let Bill at Blackhole Records have a copy. Two years later, you could find different atrocious quality bootlegs of the album in any independent punk store in California. All of those copies had came from the one I traded... however, not knowing about sound-degradation at the time, I had made a lossy copy of the version I was given. This makes the version I'm releasing here a 1st generation encode, and is thus, much higher quality (CD-FLAC-320Kbps MP3).

Now, some of these songs did end up on other releases. "Crown of Thorns" and "Don't Drag Me Down" in particular did end up on the eventual release of "WLWHWT". Other songs like " I'm in Love With My Car" and "Dope Fiend Blues" would also go on to be released on Ness' solo album "Cheating at Solitaire". I'm personally a nut for demo albums because it sheds light on the recording/songwriting process of the artist, and this version of "Dope Fiend Blues" is an excellent example of that. This version is acoustic and laid back, you can tell Ness was concentrated more on structure and composing than he was getting the emotion out. Listen to this version, then go hear the final version of the song and listen to the anger in that voice... night and day difference.

White Light White Heat, White Trash Demos
Back Cover
What's crazy about this album is that there is so much unreleased gold on this. Songs like "Don't Keep Me Hangin' On" foretell the direction the band would later go on to during the "Sex, Love, Rock, and Roll" years. But the highlight of this has to be "Got Nothin' Coming" where Ness leans towards an almost beatnik/rap-vibe in the song. Even though this is experimental territory for the band, you can hear the beginning of Ness working with female backup singers, something that would become a staple of the "Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes" era. Although this song doesn't totally work, it's fucking ballsy. Plus, it's just a demo and can only be listened to as an incomplete work. I would have loved to hear what a final version of this song would have sounded like.

1st Tattoo: Done W/Homemade Gun
& Cigarette Ash at 16yrs old
Social Distortion is a strange topic for me. Music means a lot, but only a few select bands hold such a strong influence on the person I've become. This was a band that meant so much to me that I tattoo'd their name on my body at 16 (see left). To you this may just be a rarities album, to the band this may just be a handful of demo's, but to me? This was an essential part of my life as I developed. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. Go see these guys, with Johnny 2 Bags in the lineup they've never sounded bigger and every album continues to plow new ground, something pretty fucking impressive for a band from '79.


Download The Entire Album and Cover Art Here:
MP3 Zip Archive

The tracklist is:
1:  Love Me Tonight
2:  Crown of Thorns
3:  Like You’ve Never Done Before
4:  Lost & Found
5:  Got Nothin’ Coming
6:  Do It Again
7:  Dope Fiend Blues
8:  I’m In Love With My Car
9:  Can’t Hide
10: Don’t Drag Me Down
11:  Don’t Keep Me Hangin’ On

2 comments:

  1. I'm very happy to hear this album in good quality for the first time ever. I had one of those poor quality rips, and I always thought what the hell happened to them. But I've noticed that there's one song missing, track 11 - "Don't Keep me Hanging On". Could you please upload that song again? I'll be very grateful! Thanks and sorry about my bad english. :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh wow, you're totally right? I'll fix that ASAP this weekend. Excellent call!

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