Rolling Stone (10/3/96, p.71) - 3.5 Stars (out of 5) - "...With Social Distortion's music now distilled beyond any point of derivation, the band clears its own path like an unstoppable earthmover, pushing dense walls of electric rhythm guitar through the night..."
Entertainment Weekly (10/18/96, p.82) - "...Social Distortion have made their first truly transcendent album. That it's constructed of such rock & roll staples as a driving backbeat, gritty vocals, steamroller guitar riffs, and an underdog's worldview makes it all the more impressive..." - Rating: A-
Q (12/96, p.143) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...more akin with Husker Du and the post-punk, pre-grunge US guitar school than they do latterday spiky-topped revivalists. Social Distortion write incredibly catchy riffs..."
Musician (11/96, p.88) - "...Without being overly earnest, they infuse their songs with drama and demand to be taken seriously....Under all that growl and gravel, it's easy to miss the considerable melody that Mike Ness squeezes out of his five-note range."
WHITE LIGHT WHITE HEAT WHITE TRASH contains an unlisted track, a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb."
Social Distortion: Mike Ness, Dennis Danell, John Maurer, Chuck Biscuits.
Social Distortion does one thing and does it well. The bulk of Social D's repertoire consists of variations on an unrelenting 4/4 jackhammer guitar-and-drums attack, with Mike Ness' nasal rasp giving voice to post-twelve step trailer-trash Americana in all its dubious glory. Since its inception in 1982, the band's records have typically sounded like So-Cal punk leavened by country and blues influences and a penchant for pop hooks.
The good news for Social Distortion fans is that WHITE LIGHT is no exception to the band's musical rules. While the song structures and chord progressions are slightly more sophisticated than on previous releases, the group returns after a four-year recording gap with all the raw edges intact. No punks-come-lately, Ness and his bandmates, who now include L.A. punk veteran Chuck Biscuits on drums, offer up a mature, substantive take on sin and redemption that makes you wonder how long it will take Johnny Cash to get around to covering them. This is the sound of a band that's been to hell and back, and short-sheeted the devil's bed in the process.