Review Summary: Come on... shake it everybody! It's time to work the demons on out. Suicidal's back! (Get ready to have this running through your head for a while...)
Crossover thrash icon Mike Muir is back with a refreshed Suicidal Tendencies (ST) line up to bring some psycho back to your life. Celebrating their first full length release in thirteen years, 13 brings together a hot mess of tracks from all over the band's storied career. ST has always been a band that transcends their traditional punk/crossover appeal while maintaining the credibility of any genre that they touch. Often when a band tries to put together a release that satisfies over 20 years of fans they fall on their face. I compare ST's 13 to the album of the same name released by Megadeth last year (tried and failed at doing this) though that may be unfair. Muir and friends have always been able to cross the borders of funk, thrash, grunge etc and come out on top.
I say Muir and friends as Cyco Miko is back with an almost brand new crew of miscreants to work with. Maintaining guitarist (and Infections Grooves alumn) Dean Pleasents, ST added new members Nico Santora (guitar), Eric Moore (drums) and Tim Williams (Bass). Don't worry Trujillo fans, Willams brings the noodly-doodly funk that you are looking for. The rhythm section is tighter than a 12 year old and the only thing that I really missed (and have for years) is the soloing style of one Rocky George (ST's iconic guitarist ). It's almost comical how much punk cred. a band composed of musicians in their 50's can maintain but 13 has that authentic feel to it. Fans of the band will feel as if they stepped into a time capsule back to the early 90's. Muir can still spit out the venom like he did as an 18 year old, and can even quip jokes about himself. 'Can someone get me a Diet Pepsi"' he pleads on one track. Acknowledging a lot of the internet critics that have been vocal about his weight gain.
If you have never listened to ST before this is a great point to start in. Song structures change from in your face grooves to thrash riffs in a heartbeat. Mike Muir's style is unique and still has all of the charm that it did 30 years ago. They employ styles from all over their history on this release and do so with cyco style. I'm not into track by track reviews, if you want to get a fair estimation of this release listen to the first song (and I triple dog dare you not to hit repeat) and the last song. Almost every style of music that ST has created is well encapsulated in those two songs. Do not miss out on the rest however. 13 is thirteen tracks long with hardly a loser in the bunch. Not all tracks (or hooks) are created equally and yes they could have trimmed the fat a little bit here and there. It may have been wise to release this and then do a follow up EP of b-side material.
In the end though, it is the best thing that Suicidal Tendencies have done since the early 90's. Fans of the band are in for a treat and those new to party have a great place to start. Suicidal's BACK!