It did not take long for the excitement to start rumbling again. When Mike Muir and Suicidal Tendencies released their first album in nearly 13 years, they were ready to rock all over again. The new album titled 13 is nothing short of amazing with all the harshness, edginess and thrash still firmly in place. The difference between then and now? The band is more accomplished and certainly more varied.
Don’t misunderstand me..they are still the same Suicidal Tendencies they always were when it comes to thrashing it out. The album shows that from the first track through the last. Despite this, the album allows for some new sounds as well. There are hints of funk, jazz and even a little bit of progressive metal mixed into the tracks. Like usual, the band has seen plenty of changes since the last album way back in 2000. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, the band has now morphed into a perfect version for the current stage of thrash. Nobody is questioning what their roots and pedigree might be.
The change in sound started in many ways when they released Suicidal Tendencies – Light Camera Revolution. This was the album that truly brought the controversial band into the limelight and got them noticed outside of their regular fan base. At the time, many in the world of thrash considered them to be sell-outs because of it, but Mike Muir believed in his sound and pushed onward. That album put Suicidal Tendencies on the map forever and cemented their legacy as a legendary group for the ages.
Although the new band keeps with the style and power behind the original’s success, they still have matured incredibly as musicians and craftsmen. Mike Muir has evolved as a master song writer and vocalist while the pieces around him have evolved slowly into a band to be remembered. Through the years, Muir is the only member that has always been there and never left. His solidarity in the face of drama has kept the band moving forward, and the recent incarnation is arguably one of the best ever. Every member of this band brings something to the table that is essential. That alone is rare in a rock in a roll band. There are no dead weights in this band. They all thrash with conviction.
If you listened to the skater thrashing, controversial band back in the 80s and have wondered what they have been up to, then 13 might come as a bit of a shock. This is not because they are totally different but because they have evolved into a style that is unique. That is, after all, what made Suicidal Tendencies popular in the first place. When you heard ST, they did not remind you of anyone. They went where other bands were afraid to go. They did things that no other band would do. That individualization built a brand that has led to complete and total creative freedom today.
You can hear it in every Mike Muir lyric and song. Give 13 a try and you might just find yourself liking them all over again.
Lisa Mason is a music buff writing for Music Record Shop about music, albums and artists she loves.