Thursday, July 25, 2024

Suicidal Tendencies 13

Still Cyco After All These Years?

It has been 13 years since Suicidal Tendencies’ last studio album ‘Free Your Soul…And Save My Mind’ which is quite a considerable gap for a band to have in their discography. If you’re hoping for a return to 80’s era Suicidal Tendencies then I’ll go right ahead and say flat out that this album probably isn’t for you. This is very much the 90’s era version, carrying on with their fusion of punk, funk, metal, hardcore and rock with a bit more added in. While some may turn their noses up at this, I think that Suicidal Tendencies pull off this mix very well, and there are really very few bands around that can pull off that sort of a mix these days. The fact that the musicians here are proficient in all these styles also helps as otherwise I doubt this sort of an album could be pulled off properly.

suicidal tendencies

The opening track ‘Shake It Out’ serves as an acknowledgement that the band’s back after so long by launching into a punk/rock track filled opening with a tasteful lead guitar part. It serves as a celebration and introduction to the album which while slightly in the realm of self indulgent fits it well and sets the tone for the whole album. ‘Smash It’ changes the feel from the first track and launches into a more metallic riff fest which fans of 80’s era Suicidal will feel pretty familiar with, sort of feeling like a mix of Sick Of It All and Slayer. ‘God Only Knows Who I Am’ brings the tempo down dramatically to give a bit of a break from the punk/metal assault of the first few tunes. It works well in that respect and shows the diversity of all the musicians for them to be able to pull off a more down-tempo, clean track. ‘Slam City’ starts out with a riff quite reminiscent of Black Sabbath and continues to lead into some more down-tempo chugs throughout the song, embracing the hardcore element of their sound. Moving through the album the tempos and feel of the tracks shift and change pretty seamlessly, having listened to it a good number of times, I never felt like a song was out of place. It seems a good amount of thought was put into how it’s laid out and paced.

The main criticism I’d have on this album is Mike Muir’s lyrics, at times, don’t feel like they’ve been entirely well thought out and seems that he’s grasping at straws for lyrics to fill in the gaps. There are more than a few cases of lyrics being repeated a few times, which was also the case on ‘Freedumb’ and ‘Free Your Soul…’ which was something that could have been improved on. Some of the down-tempo, cleaner tracks also don’t come off quite as well as they should: while they’re well placed and break up the album nicely, I feel some could have had a bit more time spent on perfecting them as they sound slightly unfinished and rushed at times.

That aside, there’s a great party atmosphere to the album most of the way through and a great energy to go along with it. The playing of new bass player Tim ‘Rawbiz’ Williams is quite frankly spectacular, particularly on ‘Smash It’ with some perfectly executed slap bass parts. In ‘Make Your Stand’ there seems to also be a constant shred duel between him and Dean Pleasants which is both entertaining and interesting to listen to.

Overall I’ve really enjoyed this album: if you can look past the occasional lyrical-shallowness and don’t take it too seriously, it’s a great listen. There’s some great musicianship and this album shows off individual instrumental talent here that will satisfy most. With a mix of punk and metal this album is one great cocktail of styles all packed into one album.


Favourite Tracks: ‘Smash It’, ‘Make Your Stand’, ‘Show Some Love…Tear It Down’, ‘Living The Fight’

Check out Suicidal Tendencies’ video for ‘Cyco Style’ below!

1. Shake It Out
2. Smash It!
3. This Ain’t A Celebration
4. God Only Knows…Who I Am
5. Make Your Stand
6. Who’s Afraid?
7. Show Some Love…Tear It Down
8. Cyco Style
9. Slam City
10. Till My Last Breath
11. Living The Fight
12. Life (Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It)
13. This World

13 by Suicidal Tendencies is available March 26th.

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