Monday, September 21, 2009

I Have Suicidal Tendencies, But I Can't Kill Myself ...

Over the last few months, I have been haunted with thoughts of Suicidal Tendencies. It all started when I spun ST's "Free Your Soul ... And Save My Mind" and I haven't stopped listening to the bands discography since then. Suicidal Tendencies are one of my favourite bands who have never disappointed me. "The Art Of Rebellion" is the closest they came, but I grew to appreciate it.

I've done a couple reviews on their thrashier sound here and here, so I thought I'd go back to their roots. Suicidal Tendencies began as a hardcore punk outfit in the early 80's with Cyco Miko being the only remaining member of that era. I was always aware of ST's punky debut and quite familiar with the songs, but I didn't pick up a copy until a couple years ago.

As I've said earlier, I've been on an ST fix lately and have been listening to their self-titled debut continuously. This album has it all from blistering punk songs to slower groove-laden numbers and a handful that encompass both tempos. It also features some classic Suicidal Tendencies with "I Shot Reagan" (or the devil), "I Saw Your Mommy" and "Institutionalized"(recently featured in the movie Iron Man).

The album kicks off with a deliciously insane intro before blasting us with the speedy "Suicides An Alternative/You'll Be Sorry". The latter part of the song slows down with a narrative groove as Mr. Muir tells the devil to screw off. "Two Sided Politics", "Memories Of Tomorrow" and "Fascist Pig" continue the speedy template, but there is an underlying smooth groove which adds to their memorability.

Two of my favourite tracks blend slow groove and pummelling choruses. The first is the iconic "Institutionalized" which treated us to such lyrical gems as ~mom, just get me a Pepsi! Please, all I want is a Pepsi!” And she wouldn't give it to me! All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me! Just a Pepsi~ Brilliant stuff and the fact that it's super catchy helps. The other is "I Saw Your Mommy" whose twisted and sick humour was like candy to my teenage ears. This also goes to show that the media can't be blamed for every kids problems. "I Saw Your Mommy" is demented, but I turned out fine.

"I Want More" shows a quieter side to Suicidal Tendencies and shows that Mike Muir can actually sing (And only gets better with each album). My favourite song has to be the hilariously appropriate "Suicidal Failure". It's a mid-paced groove-laden tune about trying to kill ones self and failing. Sounds terrible, but it really is a great song obviously done tongue and cheek.

Why I never had this album earlier is a mystery to me. Perhaps it was my delving into more extreme styles of metal, I don't know. Coming back to this album 20 years later and it is surprisingly refreshing. I have always preferred the thrashier side to ST's music, but this album holds up well.

The same can be said for Suicidal Tendencies last album, the funky-punk inspired "Free Your Soul ... And Save My Mind". Another album that took me a while to warm to. Up next I'll take a look at the crossover gem "Join The Army"


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