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Suicidal Tendencies: 13


(Suicidal Tendencies)
Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Other than making music that people like one of the goals of a band is to be around the music scene for a long while. Well, with their new album 13 released, Suicidal Tendencies can say they are one of the bands that have made it to that long while mark. Formed in 1981 the band should know how to make a song that people will like and make them like it enough to keep the band going for all these years. On this album they open with the first song "Shake It Out" by doing what the song says, shaking it out. In this case I'm thinking it's the cobwebs, stiff legs, and sleepiness that's been taken over since their last album came out in 2000. This opening song sets the mood of this crossover thrash/hardcore punk band's newest album 13 for the listener, i.e. me this time around, to get prepared to rock.

I know Suicidal Tendencies is labeled as being a crossover thrash band but to me their music sounds more like a mash-up of thrash and rock or thrash rock. If the band where to take away the vocals of Mike Muir leaving only the instruments then 13 would be complete thrash/punk/metal. The beats are fast, they are rough, they are loud, they are everything that makes for a high-octane thrash song. But that's the instrumentals. Do the same but leave only the vocals and what I hear are songs that are a mixture of rock punk and metal. Mike Muir speeds up his tempo, he has a strong voice but he keeps his vocals clear and understandable. Which is good but it also left me with this feeling of expecting him to go into full throttle thrash where he's screaming so loud and fast that the lyrics just become mush of sound.

13 is a well produced and played album but the ferocity that the band seems to be on the verge of just exploding into the hardcore thrash but never does. They have the energy and the pacing of a good thrash/punk song but with that expectation never getting fulfilled I ended up feeling let down. Though I can't say the same for the lyrics, which actually only adds to the expectations of the songs getting harder and faster. These lyrics are blunt, in your face, we will do what we want and here we are. These lyrics are hard, they are brutal, and they are what make the songs have their highest point of intensity. Without the lyrics this album would have fallen into the, we want to be a thrash band but can't find that sound. 13 is a good album, it's not great but it has enough well played songs with some intense beats and sounds but there's just not enough there to take it past the edge.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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