Suicidal Tendencies

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES
’13’
Suicidal Records

Suicidal-Tendencies-13When casting their critical eyes back on the roots of American Hardcore, revisionists more often than not overlook Suicidal Tendencies. Fair enough, a fast track musical evolution and a jump to bigger record labels diluted their early sound, but you’d be a fool to deny the influence domestically and, as word got out, internationally, of the early Eighties ST incarnation.

Still fronted by Mike Muir, who’s doggedly kept the ST name alive for over 3 decades, this is their first studio album in many, many years (the clue is in the title Holmes) and they are clearly back in 2013 with something to prove.

Track one “Shake It Out’ is driven by a defiant “Suicidal’s Back” chant, Mike howling like Ozzy, and dryly requesting someone to please get him “a Diet Pepsi”, hah! Of course, the 2013 ST are far removed from their early self, slugging out highly polished thrash, layered hard rock riffage and the funky breaks that have defined their most popular output. Tellingly, for a guy who has been through the peaks and troughs of the music industry, Mike’s lyrics revolve about self-resolution, staying true to yourself, and making the most of life. Pretty good PMA I’d say and full of conviction.

Suicidal will forever be associated with skateboarding, and track seven, the rowdy “Show Some Love… Tear it Down”, features vocal props from, amongst others, Danny Way, Tony Trujillo, the Olsen bros, and Mike’s own big bro Jim. That kicks down the door for “Cyco Style” which is the essence of this bands agenda, wrapped and loaded in 4:40minutes of molten blast…. “bombs away”… you got it.

I’m not bowled over by all thirteen of “13”s tracks, but there are some solid moments that I can get in to. For diehard Suicidal fans I’d have thought this album will easily satisfy, and make for a decent addition to the collection. Now, fix that bandana, and get in the pit Cyco…

Pete Craven

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath
‘God Is Dead’

www.blacksabbath.com

It took 35 years for Black Sabbath to write and release a new track and here it is, an 8:51 minute heavy metal journey for 2013.

God Is Dead‘ is the first piece of music released last night from their new album ’13’, Black Sabbath’s first studio LP with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978. The question is though, is this any good?

The song was produced by legendary producer Rick Rubin, famous for his work with the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Run DMC, Slayer and plenty more. It was said that he asked the band to deliver something for him to work with that would be up there with the first 4 Sabbath albums. On reflection, ‘God Is Dead’ has taken elements of those classic breakdowns we all know so well; the graveyard production and those trademark Iommi heavy riffs and even Ozzy’s voice sounds like he just about gets away with it, although some will argue that he clearly has nothing left to give due to the effects on this recording. For me, the end section of this track is where it all comes together. Seven minutes in, Sabbath are absolutely flying, Ozzy is on point and you are shipped back to 1970 where it all began.

You have to give it up to them on actually making this record. We are talking about 60 year old men here. Most old codgers can’t even make it to the john in time, let alone write and record a nineteenth album. The Stooges made a complete mess of their comeback record this month; in comparison, this track kicks its arse.

The chances of this song going down in rock history like classics such as ‘War Pigs’, ‘Iron Man’ or ‘Paranoid’ though is slim. ‘God Is Dead’ lacks any of the songwriting skills needed to be logged in the Sabbath hall of fame and lyrically it’s about as entertaining as the news of Rolf Harris being arrested this morning. The fact that the band have left drummer Bill Ward out of the band for this whilst he is fully active in Orange County and added Audioslave’s Brad Wilk adds more mental torture ahead of the release of 13, but have a listen and make your own opinions.

Overall, this tells us that metal’s darkest lords could have have some good stuff up their wizard sleeves and with the positive force from Nietzsche here on their cover, maybe their new album scheduled for release on June 11th will pull off a miracle we never thought would ever happen.