BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Given their day jobs with Southern California’s punk protagonists Social Distortion, any solo salvo by one of its members might be expected to retain the extreme discordant air of angst and insurgency as postulated by the mother ship. So it’s somewhat surprising — and heartening too for that matter — to find guitarist Jonny Wickersham, better known by his non de plume Jonny Two Bags, opting for a more melodic, and dare we say, more enticing stance.
It’s unclear exactly what Jonny has been listening to that may have inspired him here, but the echoes of Springsteen on the rousing “Then You Stand Alone” and dusty Americana of “Clay Wheels” and “Alone Tonight” suggest he’s been in the throes of a populist embrace. Even when he cranks up the amplitude, he clearly keeps melody in mind, making songs such as “Forlorn Walls,” “Wayward Cain” and “The Way It Goes” far more suitable for stadium-sized, fist-pumping revelry than the dank, stench-filled confines of any mosh pit encounter.
Consequently, if there was a chamber of commerce to advertise its wares, Salvation Town would have plenty of fodder to fuel upon. Clearly, this enclave welcomes all comers.
DOWNLOAD: “Forlorn Walls,” “Wayward Cain,” “The Way It Goes”