Seminal Orange County punk band Social Distortion
's first full-length album Mommy's Little Monster
is the epitome of early-'80s suburban California punk and provided inspiration for many future Californians, including the Offspring
. Mommy's Little Monster
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. Songs like "The Creeps (I Just Want to Give You") 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. The title track, "Mommy's Little Monster," with its descriptions of the girl with blue hair and the unemployed young punk who loves to drink and fight, gives you a good idea of the characters Social Distortion
was surrounded by in the scene of the day. Although the low budget production gives the album a genuine early genre feel, it tends to hinder some of the potential power of most of the tracks presented here. As frontman Mike Ness
matured as a songwriter the band went on to record stronger albums later in their career, but Mommy's Little Monster
is a fine document of the raw early stages of a great influential American punk band that would go on to influence countless others in the future.