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Suicidal Tendencies – 13

by Brett Stevens
April 20, 2013 –

suicidal_tendencies-13The problem with success is that it can become a cage: you get known for doing something that meant a lot to you at the time, but time goes on. You want new horizons. It’s hard to express them, and you see others succeed for doing a lot less.

Suicidal Tendencies launches 13 into a time where metal and punk have both decided to commit suicide by melding so extensively with other genres as to lose their own identities. Melding itself isn’t bad, but when a whole genre does it, it essentially obliterates its unique voice and makes itself another flavor of rock music.

13 escapes Suicidal Tendencies’ past by mixing in a number of alternative, improvisational and extrinsic styles. In particular, you’ll hear island-based world music, Rage Againsst the Machine, and even the keg-party reggae-influenced rock of bands like Sublime, all mixed into what’s essentially a punk band playing metal. The locus of the action has changed: where the original Suicidal Tendencies want to make a point with its songs, these songs want to set up a convivial atmosphere and into that speak some ideas with lyrics. The original songs resembled their content; these songs are a mixture of fun and diverse elements, and expression occurs in the lyrics.

With this album, Suicidal Tendencies demonstrate how an album can be quite good and not satisfy its original audience. I think this will be a huge hit among the alt-rock and nu-metal crowds because it’s more musically interesting than most of the kiddie music. It’s based on firm grooves, catchy melodic vocal hooks, and an insanely over-the-top constant lead guitar jam that gives this music a breadth that is rarely found in music you hear on the radio.

However, for metal fans this one is going to be a failure. It has lost the metal spirit, and it essentially party rock with some metal riffs. The cool guitar work and occasional shredding give this some power, but it doesn’t switch it to the viewpoint a metal fan will appreciate.

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9 comments

  • bitterman

    Basically, Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves melded together in the mid to late 90s and have been making the same album under the Suicidal Tendencies banner ever since. Aside from a well played guitar solo, this is really similar to Blink 182, the Offspring, Sum 41, or any of that MTV party rock. At least musically they aren’t lying about it, like Municipal Waste. Still, this will be as inconsequential as when The Red Hot Chili Peppers start playing on the radio when smoking weed at a friend’s house. Just another song in an endless stream of crap that sounds the same.

    Reply
      1. Brett Stevens Post author

        Nailed it. However, a well-behaved grumpy cat, unlike some of our posters who insult the interview subjects and writers. It is best to simply express a clear opinion, and let the rest be obvious, as it always is with all things. It just takes time, patience and diligence to see it.

        Reply
    1. Metal Command

      I can’t get over how vapid and catchy it is. You know what it reminds me of most? No Doubt. But with some kind of hired guitarist just going nuts all over the place. It’s like they’re trying to be No Doubt, Blink 182 and Animals as Leaders all at the same time.

      Reply
    1. Brett Stevens Post author

      I like the self-titled one first. It may not be “best” from a musical or instrumental perspective, but it’s got the most spirit, is most evocative, and has the best staying power in my head.

      Reply
  • Metal Command

    “Come on, come on, shake your little body” says it all. Wow. How a great band falls. I see zero reason to even consider purchasing this party rock with a few metal riffs buried in the mix.

    Reply

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