Social Disorder is the brainchild of Killer Bees founder Anders LA Rönnblom. Starting initially as a project to write songs about his own personal battles with alcoholism and other demons, matched to music inspired by his early influences, the ideas soon blossomed so much he reached out to musicians to help them flesh them out into the songs they could become.
Social Disorder – Love 2 Be Hated (AFM Records)
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Ian Sutherland
The resulting album Love 2 Be Hated, seems to be somewhere between a solo album and a band with guest stars. Described as Social Disorder’s debut release, luminaries such as Tracii Guns and Rudy Sarzo add their decades of experience and skill, but there is also new talent in singer Thomas Nordin who makes an impressive entrance to the wider rock world here.
The vibe overall is of melodic seventies and eighties rock with a few Metal overtones here and there.
Opener Windy Road is all epic, stomping big atmosphere with some really nice riffing going on. That edgy guitar sound is used to different effect on the groovier title track, nicely balanced against a mix of Nordin’s gritty rock vocals and some well placed vocal harmonies.
Sail Away is like a heavier version of mid-period Whitesnake with a gritty riff hooking itself around some Hammond organ stylings, while Dreaming is full of twin lead guitars and a driving rhythm section seemingly impatient to get to Nordin’s full-throated vocal climaxes.
There’s no settled sound as the album progresses, which may be its strength. There’s a kind of similar sound throughout, but the songs are all individual elements and sound like they’ve been approached as individual entities, which is what Rönnblom indicates talking about working with the other musicians. “Basically, they were given the recipe, and they added the spice to it. At the same time, they never really changed a thing, and that’s the beauty of it. I’m so grateful everything turned out the way it did.”
Things take a real left turn at the end as The One is an out and out piano-led ballad and the album closer Wings Of Serenity is an instrumental, seemingly with the purpose of letting the guitar players in the band show us what they can do. Both are enjoyable tunes but somewhat unexpected twists to end on.
Overall this is a really good rock album, full of interesting songs with an emotional core but shying away from the clichés you might expect or attempts to match a specific genre that is so prevalent now.
Rönnblom can be proud of how things turned out.
Now I’ll wait to see if this becomes a band or remains a more fluid situation.