ALBUM REVIEW: Muir still has his Tendencies

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First Posted: 4/1/2013

The title referring to the passage of time since the last Suicidal Tendencies studio record, not the number of albums the band has released, Mike Muir and company roar back into crossover thrash/punk relevance with their snarky brand of tongue-in-cheek hardcore anthems. With the feisty, bandana-clad frontman Muir the lone original member at this point, Suicidal Tendencies still manages to project the same street-level riot fare that helped tracks like “Institutionalized” and “I Saw Your Mommy” become classics – not too serious, lyrically engaging, played with mosh-approved malice.

Leading off with the crunch of the skate punk platter “Shake It Out,” Muir plays to a parody of his persona, referring to himself as “Cyco Miko,” shouting throughout the song that “Suidicdal’s back.” “Smash It” is as breakneck as anything the band’s ever done, echoing back to the Minor Threat-influenced speed and venom of Suicidal’s 1983 self-titled debut. “God Only Knows…Who I Am” features the slippery funk side of the band that Suicidal cultivated in later years, notably with ex-bassist Robert Trujillo, reminiscent of Muir/Trujillo’s early 1990s funk/metal side project Infectious Grooves.

Current rhythm guitarist Dean Pleasants, with Suicidal since 1997 but with Muir since the earliest Infectious Grooves incarnation in 1989, anticipates Muir’s hijinks with bratty intuition. Pleasants colors tracks like “Cyco Style” with a mix of lighter, single-note licks and blast riffs, romping back and forth within Muir’s dementia of “charging like a cracked-out ram.” Elsewhere, the band further jostles their own musical proclivities with mock balladry like “Til My Last Breath,” Muir’s thoughts sung with intentionally awkward phrasing.

As close to “classic” Suicidal Tendencies as you can get sans original lineup, “13” still snaps necks and irritates the establishment.

Suicidal Tendencies ’13’ Rating: W W W W