Monday, November 7, 2016

Suicidal Tendencies - World Gone Mad



I mean, come on!

A new Suicidal Tendencies album.  It's been way too long since I've been able to say those words.   Three years since the exceptional "13" came out and of course it had been 13 years since they'd put out a new album before that.

But they're back, and man are they still going strong.

My "life" in music kinda rides right along with Suicidal Tendencies.  After all, I was a DJ at KSPC FM in LA when the penultimate skatepunks unloaded their debut album on an unsuspecting world, and songs like "Institutionalized" became regular must-have plays on my show.  Fully immersed in the LA punk scene of the time, Suicidal Tendencies always stood out for their humor, aggression and commentary on subjects like alienation, depression, and nonconformist politics.   As the years went on, they helped pioneer the crossover hardcore punk/metal hybrid that essentially became synonymous with an entire culture of thrashing skate kids around the world.

So what does 2016 hold for these legendary punks?   Have they slowed down 35 years into their career?   Mellowed?   Listened to a little Manilow with their tea breaks?   Hell no, "World Gone Mad" is as fierce, edgy and aggressive as you could ever hope for.  Featuring, Dave Lombardo on drums, and Mike Muir in his familiar spot with the mic and the production, Suicidal Tendencies sound as fresh and mean as ever.

And man, does the world need them right about now. 

Opening cut "Clap Like Ozzy" is a madhouse beast of roaring guitars, galloping bass, and pulverizing drumming.  The album is a full on return to their punkest of punk roots, in tone and intensity, while never losing a grasp of killer songwriting and metallic fury.  Lomardo beats the skins like they owed the mob money.  And Muir's familiar voice, roars over the vocals in a sing/rap/shout style that screams with intensity.  Long time guitarist Dean Pleasants and new guitarist Jeff Pogan absolutely shine on the shredding intensity they unleash and new bassist Ra Diaz is a revelation with the fury of his bottom end.

While "Clap Like Ozzy" (which sounds nothing like a Sabbath song) is the featured single, it's by no means the only worth-while track here. "The New Degeneration" is a howling anthem to the youth of today, screaming for the punk rebellion that Suicidals brought way back in 1983. "come on, show us what you got!  Where's the new degeneration"  Muir screams over back-breaking metallic riffing, with a mid-song breakdown into perfect, fist-pumping  hardcore.  Incite a rebellion.  Represent your generation.  Get pissed.  Where is the indignation? All classic Suicidal and perfect for our age of corrupt politicians, corporate greed and instant gratification, iPhone zombies.

Throughout, we have the undeniable classic Suicidal sound mixed with a broad dip into other styles, like Primus styled punk/funk, pure metalic madness, even some mellower, melodic moments.  The Suicidals jump around without ever losing their place and their mission. Broadening their reach, playing around amidst their fury.   In the end, it sounds like these legendary punks are invigorated and having fun. 

Simply put, "World Gone Mad" is ferocious, absolutely classic Suicidal Tendencies.  Angry and pissed and petulant,  ugly, fierce and scathing.  Hard core punk, metal, skatepunk, whatever you want to call it.  Suicidal Tendencies have unleashed a masterpiece of 21st Century angst.  An album absolutely needed in these times.

Album is out world-wide on CD, Double LP, and digital.  Don't miss it.

--Racer

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