Founded back in 1981 by lead singer Mike Muir, Suicidal Tendencies has achieved legendary status in both the punk and metal worlds while serving as a much-needed, angry middle finger to the rock and roll establishment. The band’s first album in 13 years, “13”, proves that despite the passage of time and changing of trends, the band’s credo remains solid, not sold.
This album is good, real good. I mean no disrespect to past (or especially) current members but it has never been more idiotically clear that original member Mike Muir is the heart, soul and brain of ST. As good as the previous lineups of Suicidal have been over the years, the most impressive thing that can be said about new guitarists Nico Santora, Dean Pleasants, bassist Steve Bruner and drummer Eric Moore is that they move the saga forward while never making you miss the presence of the other guys. That said, if you are as big of a fan as previous ST albums as I am it is safe to say you will love “13” and possibly even hold it as high as your all-time favorites.
The coolest thing about it is the fact that it DOES move forward, (come on guys, Mike has kids of his own now) but never turns its back on what made you love the band to begin with. The song “Slam City” is begging to become a live staple as are many of these tunes, honestly, it’s a rare writer who can keep things so heavy while creating earworm catchy hooks and choruses. You will want to listen to “13” from beginning to end, paying close attention to all the lyrical madness and fun, including the awesome moment where Mike wants someone to get him a “Diet Pepsi”. Songs like the brooding “Life…(Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It)” or “God Only Knows…Who I Am” may recall classic stuff like “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow? (When I Can’t Even Smile Today)” but the production and the sincerity of Cyco Miko and Paul Northfield (Rush, Marilyn Manson) never allow a moment to feel like a retread. I couldn’t begin to tell you my favorite track but “Till My Last Breath” “Cyco STyle” and “Who’s Afraid” have me pumped like it’s 1990 all over again. I don’t write a lot of reviews so it takes a strong feeling one way or another to move me to recommend for or against a release. It may have taken them 13 years to come back but let’s welcome them with a nice, firm SLAM.
* * * * Four Stars, preorder here: http://www.amazon.com/13-Suicidal-Tendencies/dp/B00BECFYYU