Suicidal Tendencies - 13
New material from this groundbreaking crossover metal band was long overdue with various reports from the band themselves that they had been recording songs for over ten years. Suicidal Tendencies was probably the most unlikely of bands to achieve major label success and radio airplay in in the late 80s and early 90s. Despite their evolution from a punk band to thrash and more mainstream metal they’ve never been under fire for selling out, probably due to the characteristic lyrical themes and vocal delivery of band leader Mike Muir that made their stylistic changes over the years seem sincere and natural. On 13 Suicidal continues the return to their punk and thrash roots that began back on 1999’s Freedumb album, but the crushing heaviness has largely been dropped and 13 sounds much better for it. The opening riff of “Slam City” is as heavy as it gets. Otherwise, 13 has the much more open feel of their debut album from 1983 but with the intensity of Join The Army. The production and sound just fits the style of the songs really well. The fast songs like “Cyco Style” and “Smash It!” sound like crossover thrash rather than lame metal songs, and the slower ones such as “God Only Knows…Who I Am” and “ Till My Last Breath” are given a chance to build up. Long-standing funk and and metal elements are still in place, so the album has a lot to keep the listener interested. This certainly isn’t the best record from Suicidal, but it’s highly enjoyable and a worthy addition to the catalog. Clever songwriting has always set the band apart from other hardcore and thrash bands, and 13 proves there is still life left in Suicidal after an amazing 30 years.
Suicidal Tendencies performs Tuesday, April 16 at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis with support from DRI and Waking The Dead. Local hardcore band In Defence plays a free pre-concert show in The Nether Bar at Mill City Nights starting around 7:00.