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Suicidal Tendencies
13
April 2013
Released: 2013, Suicidal Records
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Celtic Bob

Suicidal Tendencies are back with a vengeance after a 13 year hiatus. This new album: 13 is 100% classic Suicidal. The only thing missing is Rocky George’s guitar playing. The lead off single “Cyco Style” is pure old school which will make the old fans such as myself take notice that ST are back.



The opening track of the album “Shake It Out” even lets you know through the lyrics that Suicidal are back. These lyrics couldn’t be further from the truth. The high energy and fast sing/rap style of Muir hasn’t changed a single bit. While never the greatest of singer’s he was great at what he did and nothings changed. He delivers the lyrics with force and precision. Musically the guitars and drums are really in your face. Heavy riffs and lots of double bass make for a great album to crank up and do some old fashioned head banging.



After 13 plus years away Muir and company deliver an album of 13 tracks that transport you back to the good old days when you had few cares in the world and everything was perfect. A perfect old school ST album that could have easily followed up LIGHTS...CAMERA...REVOLUTION album. A strong contender for ‘Album of the Year’ and definitely for ‘Comeback’.
Track Listing

1. Shake it Out
2. Smash It! (feat. Larry Linkogle and Jimmy Fitzpatrick of the Metal Mulisha)
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 (feat. Pro skaters Danny Way, Tony Trujillo, Steve and Alex Olson, Vincent Alvarez, Elijah Berle and Jim "Red Dog" Muir)
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

Lineup

Mike Muir – lead vocals
Dean Pleasants – lead guitar
Mike Clark – rhythm guitar
Steve Bruner – bass
Eric Moore – drums

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Suicidal Tendencies - 13
Previous review: » Stratovarius - Nemesis

Suicidal Tendencies
13
April 2013
Released: 2013, Suicidal Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

An open letter to Mike Muir:



Dear Mike,



First of all, let me say how much of a fan I am. I was 12 years old when I first heard HOW WILL I LAUGH TOMORROW…and man, what a life changing experience that was. The pain in your voice and your choice of words resonated with disenfranchised youth all over the world; you were able verbalize the passion, angst, and overbearing emotion that so many of us felt, but couldn’t do so ourselves. It made me go back and become familiar with your history – the Venice Beach hardcore of your self-titled debut and the before-it’s-time crossover beauty of JOIN THE ARMY. And it prompted me to follow your career through times both lean and fat. And when you chose to put ST to rest in 1995 after the SUICIDAL FOR LIFE album, I understood and agreed with the decision. You’d said what needed to be said, and it was time to move on. But then you resurrected Suicidal with a new lineup in 1997, and things were, well…different.



The new lineup was fine enough. I mean, c’mon, Dean Pleasants is a more than capable replacement for Rocky George. But then the FREEDUMB album came out. Instead of thought provoking odes of thrashy turmoil, we got songs like “Scream Out” and “Cyco Vision”. It’s like all of the sudden you went on a mission to turn Suicidal Tendencies into some crossover party version of Insane Clown Posse, espousing nothing but the virtues of being “Cyco” (whatever that means), and puffin’ up like a tough guy against some undetermined societal antagonist. It just seemed like and easy out, with not a lot of thought put into it. And then there was the FREE YOUR SOUL album and the SUICIDAL FAMILY comp, and it just seemed like you were turning ST into some kind of lowest common denominator Infectious Grooves hybrid. I gotta tell you, it’s really left a foul taste in my mouth. Yes, I’ve heard these albums. And no, I don’t know anyone who will admit to actually enjoying them.



So when I read in the press about the imminent release of 13 and all the hoopla around it, I kinda got excited. 13 songs, 13 years since the last full length, 13th studio album, depending on how you’re counting – I get it, nice. And I was hopeful that this would be the album that you got back to business with, that validated my sticking up for you and standing by your side all this time (“they’re still a great live band”). But now 13 is on the streets and on store shelves, and I’ve had some time to really give it a thoughtful listen. I’ll say this – it’s the best Suicidal Tendencies album since SUICIDAL FOR LIFE. But it still falls way short of the band’s glory days.



I love the opening of “Shake It Out” to build some anticipation, and how you use the song as a sort of sermon to jazz up the audience (“It’s time to work the demons on out!). And yes, we missed you too. But then you fall back into the same pitfalls. Too many pointless songs about breaking stuff down and standing your ground (“Smash It”, “Make Your Stand”, “Who’s Afraid”, “Cyco Style”, “Slam City”), all using a fraction of the verbal prowess that you used to be able to elucidate such actions with. It’s concerning, really.



But the music on those tracks is AMAZING. Like I said earlier, you’ve done fine with the new lineup. Dean Pleasants – check. New bassist Tim “Rawbiz” Williams is, f@#king PHENOMENAL. The guy totally gives Trujillo a run for his money. It’s just really a bummer that such colossal funky runs and ripping licks get wasted on juvenile lyrics that don’t go anywhere. But, despite my gripes – there are some gems on 13. “God Only Knows Who I Am” is a spacy jam that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on THE ART OF REBELLION, and the last three tracks on the disc are superb. “Living to Fight” is a groovy shredder that sounds like a deep cut from LIGHTS…CAMERA…REVOLUTION and “Life…(Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It)” is a sweeping and moody tune that hints that you’ve still got some rounds in the chamber. And closing track “This World” is a beautiful, anthemic tune that I’d much rather sing along with instead of continuing to shout “Cyco This” or “Cyco That”.



In closing – I hope that you don’t take this as a hater’s rant, because it’s not. I write this because I care. I’m still a fan, I’ll still be in the front row when you come to my town in May, and I’m still listening to 13 as I write this. It’s not necessarily the album that I wanted, but it’s the album that I got, and it’s got enough redeeming value to merit repeated listens. It’s certainly not as deep as your classic albums, but it’s an upbeat listen that’s heavy on the fun, but short on substance. I hope that it doesn’t take another 13 years for a proper Suicidal Tendencies disc , and I hope that you find that fire in your soul that inspired tracks like “You Can’t Bring Me Down” and “War Inside My Head”. Whatever the case - still a fan, always a fan.



Hugs and Kisses

-AY
Track Listing

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

Lineup

Mike Muir – Vocals
Eric Moore – Drums
Dean Pleasants – Guitars
Tim Williams – Bass
Nico Santora – Guitars


Next review: » The New Black - III: Cut Loose
Previous review: » Stratovarius - Nemesis





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