Mommy's Little Monster
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2008)|
|Mommy's Little Monster|
|Studio album by Social Distortion|
|Recorded||December 24, 1982 at The Casbah in Fullerton, California|
|Genre||Punk rock, skate punk, hardcore punk|
|Label||13th Floor Records|
|Producer||Social Distortion, Chaz Ramirez, Thom Wilson|
|Social Distortion chronology|
|Singles from Mommy's Little Monster|
The album was critically acclaimed but was, however, not commercially successful. In the years after its release, Mommy's Little Monster has received positive reviews from fans and critics, and has been cited as a landmark album in punk rock. It includes their live staples "The Creeps", "Another State of Mind", "Telling Them" and the title track, which has been frequently played by KROQ.
In 1982, Social Distortion took part in the tour with Youth Brigade (as chronicled in the documentary Another State of Mind) and broke up shortly afterwards. However, because of the tour's success, the band reconciled not long afterward and decided to begin work on their first album. They recorded the album in a single session. Mommy's Little Monster was recorded at The Casbah in Fullerton, California, on December 24, 1982, for numerous hours to cut down studio costs, which explains low budget production.
The exposure afforded to Social Distortion from the tour and subsequent documentary led to Mommy's Little Monster being a surprise hit despite being self-released. However, the album went out of print in the mid-1980s after leader Mike Ness started subsidizing his drug habit with the checks coming in to 13th Floor Records that were intended to be put towards future pressings of the album or new releases.
Mommy's Little Monster was reissued several times, with different formats and labels. The album was originally released on vinyl LP in 1983 on 13th Floor Records, a label owned by their manager at the time, Monk Rock.
The Triple X Records label reissued the album on CD, vinyl and cassette in 1989. Six years later, Mommy's Little Monster was re-issued once again when Ness started Time Bomb Recordings with some of the profits he made from Social Distortion's Epic releases, and reissued Mommy's Little Monster on vinyl, cassette and CD through a distribution deal with Arista Records. The 1995 version has remained in print ever since. The 13th Floor and Triple X versions are out of print. A third reissue was released in 2010 on Epitaph Records in Europe and the United Kingdom.
The cover of the album has an image of a skeleton and human child (wearing a mask), who are seated in a chair watching a war movie featuring a mushroom cloud in a somewhat abandoned house, with nothing except for the chair, television, mailbox, a picture frame, three lead pipes and a lot of debris. It is suggestive of the after effects of an early hydrogen bomb test and an archetypal hardcore image. The album cover was designed by Art Morales.
Even though Mommy's Little Monster was not a commercial success, the album has been met with positive reviews and ratings. Paul Tinelli of Allmusic awards Mommy's Little Monster four out of five stars and calls it "the epitome of early-'80s suburban California punk and provided inspiration for many future Californians, including the Offspring and Rancid" and claims that it "finds the band supplying plenty of attitude and aggression as they rip through nine tracks worth of hard, fast, power chord-filled tracks loaded with snarling anti-establishment lyrics and themes." Tinelli also claims that "The Creeps" and "Telling Them" "show a young punk group that is very angry, and they were going to let society know it whether they wanted to hear it or not", and adds that the title track "Mommy's Little Monster" "gives you a good idea of the characters Social Distortion was surrounded by in the scene of the day."
Mommy's Little Monster received another positive review from Tim Yohannan of Maximumrocknroll, who said "You've got to know by now what Social Distortion sound like--those distinctive vocals, the harmonies, the rockin' guitars, and melodic hooks galore. Their album is filled with more of the same. Nothing here is too frantic except "The Creeps," which really blazes forth. There's precious little exciting punky-pop around these days, but this is one of the rare examples of it."
All songs written by Social Distortion.
- "The Creeps (I Just Wanna Give You)" – 2:03
- "Another State of Mind" – 2:38
- "It Wasn't a Pretty Picture" – 3:10
- "Telling Them" – 3:12
- "Hour of Darkness" – 2:49
- "Mommy's Little Monster" – 3:33
- "Anti-Fashion" – 2:19
- "All the Answers" – 2:23
- "Moral Threat" – 5:16
The title track was used in the game Tony Hawk's Underground, and the live version of the title track is used in the game Guitar Hero: Metallica. "All the Answers" and "Moral Threat" were originally recorded in 1981 and can be heard on the 1995 compilation Mainliner: Wreckage from the Past. "Another State of Mind" was covered by Green Day as a bonus track on 21st Century Breakdown when pre-ordered on iTunes. Blink 182 refer to the album name in their song "Easy Target". Face to Face covers "Telling Them" on their live album
- Mike Ness (as Michael Ness) – vocals, guitars
- Dennis Danell – guitars
- Brent Liles – bass guitar
- Derek O'Brien – drums, backing vocals
- Mommy's Little Monster (liner notes). US: Time Bomb Recordings. 1995. 70930-43500-2.
- Due to a typo on the Time Bomb Recordings CD reissue, many believe that this album was released in 1982, but this appears to be false. According to the liner notes, the album was recorded on Christmas Eve in 1982.
- "Social Distortion - Mommy's Little Monster". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- "Social Distortion - Mommy's Little Monster". Discogs.com. Retrieved December 7, 2008.
- Allmusic review
- Yohannan, Tim (September 1983). "Mommy's Little Monster review". Maximum Rocknroll.