Review by Ellen Eldridge
On the one hand, hearing that Suicidal Tendencies releases its first new album in 13 years makes me reminisce on the bands that plowed me through the ‘90s; on the other hand, a nagging voice asks, “Really?” because didn’t Megadeth just release an album called 13 in 2011? But Suicidal announces its return triumphantly in the chorus of “Shake It Out” with the repeated chorus “Suicidal’s back!” Produced by Mike Muir and Paul Northfield (Rush, Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, Ozzy Osbourne, Hole, Marilyn Manson, Infectious Grooves), the release of 13 marks the band’s 30th anniversary.
As soon as the first of 13 tracks, “Cyco Style”, starts, fans will hear Muir’s familiar vocals. The redesigned lineup features guitarists Dean Pleasants and Nico Santora. Throughout the songs the guitar work stays powerful, fresh and fun. The solos take off but never get away from the songs and Steve Bruner’s bass work pumps like warm blood through the veins of tracks like “Slam City”. Eric Moore’s drumming solidifies the band as a tried and true rock group that dips into progressive while maintaining a slight punk grit.
While many know Suicidal Tendencies from the hit “Institutionalized”, 13 reinvents the band with the characteristic traits loved by original fans and adds just enough to attract a new generation. The intro of “This World” gets me every time with its cowboy bluesy guitar squealing that kicks in at about the 30-second mark.
Muir hints at his psycho tendencies with the line, “The voices in my head keep me up all night,” before an unrelenting chorus of “I’d like to show the world my love.” The dynamic dichotomy tinged with bluesy guitar work and a heartfelt rhythm section makes 13 a welcomed return for the band.
“First, thank you for all the people that have patiently waited for this record. Now I will shut up and let the music do the talking,” Muir said.
Find 13 on Suicidal Records March 26. The band will be touring and more information can be found on their official website.