Review Summary: "And if I offended you, oh I'm sorry / But maybe you need to be offended / But here's my apology / And one more thing, fuck you"
Suicidal Tendencies are a unique band that brought together the genres of thrash and hardcore punk to create what today is called crossover thrash. They rose to fame after their single "Institutionalized" caught the attention of many after frequent play on MTV. People loved their mix of groovy thrash-esque riffs with vocals you'd hear in that day's hardcore punk scene. The peak of their popularity came in early 1990 between their releases Controlled By Hatred/Feel Like ***...Deja Vu
, which were both certified Gold by the RIAA. This compilation, aptly titled Prime Cuts
, features some of the band's best songs from their first six albums.
The album kicks off with one of the band's heaviest songs, "You Can't Bring Me Down". The song itself is insanely catchy while remaining technical and original enough to satisfy any fan of the band. The intro of the song features a mind-blowing guitar solo that gives the song a crushing feel. The lead guitarist on most of these songs, Rocky George, is often found shredding away at blistering speeds. This alone would be enough to push certain people away. But this is about as quality as shredding gets (think Chuck Schuldiner caliber shredding). Aside from shredding, the guitar riffs on these songs are mostly really good. They range from beautiful melodic riffs that will get stuck in your head("I Saw Your Mommy", "Nobody Hears", and "How Will I Laugh Tomorrow""), to mean, fast paced punk sections("Institutionalized", "Berserk!").
Another highlight is the funky, sometimes unconventional bass work of genius, Robert Trujillo, who is now in Metallica. On songs like "Send Me Your Money" and "Go Skate! (Possessed to Skate '97)", Trujillo is able to absolutely blow your mind with his nasty licks. Many of Trujillo's riffs are quite groovy and they are never dull to listen to. His bass work alone is able to bring out the drums which tend to be pretty standard most of the time, and make them seem like something to be envied. However, songs on this compilation that come from the album Suicidal For Life
feature the great Jimmy DeGrasso, whom is always drumming far above average.
Longtime front man of the band, Mike Muir, is often criticized for his lack of vocal ability and his cynical view of the world and the people surrounding him. Some people think he's insane, which may be a good explanation of the bands many line-up changes. The result of his "insanity", however, is a wide range of emotional vocal performances and inspiring song writing. In the song "How Will I Laugh Tomorrow""(which also features one of the most enjoyable guitar solos on the album), Muir weeps; "Here I sit and watch my world come crumbling down/ I cry for help but no one's around/ Silently screaming as I bang my head against the wall/ It seems like no one cares at all"
Despite a few songs that don't quite work in the context of this compilation("Gotta Kill Captain Stupid", "Feeding the Addiction"), and some poor choices by Muir and the band as far as musical direction("I Wasn't Meant To Feel This"), the compilation remains a successful testament to a band that were far ahead of their time. A band that inspired many of today's hardcore/metal acts, and left their mark on the music industry as one of the wildest bands around. But even today, Muir hasn't quit yet and is planning an album for a 2012 release date. It will be their first release in 12 years and one can only wonder what direction the band will go in now.