Suicidal Tendencies are back with a new album after 13 years. The last one being ‘Free Your Soul and Save Your Mind.’ There was however a split album released in 2008 but either way you see it, ST were away for really long. ‘13’ has been produced by the band’s only constant member Mike Muir. Since the band’s inception in 1981, they’ve seen a plethora of lineup changes.
The current lineup is Mike Muir, guitarists Dean Pleasants and Nico Santora and Eric Moore on drums. Even though Muir is 50 now, he hasn’t lost any of his passion and ferocity.
The album starts off with Smash It – a track that is by no means subtle. They’re literally chanting “Suicidal is back” throughout the song. ST are the pioneers of crossover thrash and punk and you are reminded of this fact on every track, especially This Ain’t A Celebration.
The riffs are reminiscent of the band’s old style but that doesn’t get in the way of you headbanging to most of them. The only track which doesn’t work too well is Till My last Breath. The song takes way too much time to pick up and by then one would give up on it. I was tempted to skip it midway through my first listen.
The best song is Cyco Style. The intro is catchy and you know right then that it’s the song one would remember this album by. An amazing song that would work well when played live – Cyco Style is full of great hooks and neat riffage by Pleasants and Santora.
God Only Knows Who I Am is one track that clearly exhibits the slight change in ST’s sound. It’s mellow but has a great chorus and instrumental breaks that aren’t something that ST normally do. I’m not even complaining.
Other noteworthy songs are Slam City and Show Some Love… Tear It Down. With lyrics that are easy to grasp after one listen and riffs perfect for headbanging, you can sing right along.
Some tracks however feel like fillers and with a little trimming, ‘13’ would be packing a punch.
If you’re new to Suicidal Tendencies, this is really not a bad album to acquaint yourself with the band’s style. It is a major plus because at a time when most bands are experimenting with their sound styles, ST have managed to do a mean job and provided older fans with a reason to stick by the band longer while at the same time created something those new to the band would want to listen to.
13 could’ve been a really superb album with a little trimming but it still works quite well for old and new Suicidal Tendencies fans.