After 13 long years of waiting, the popular hardcore punk band Suicidal Tendencies has returned with their latest album, “13.”
From the first song on, the band holds nothing back and cuts right to the chase. This energy also shown in the second track, “Smash It!” There is a quick guitar solo within the first thirty seconds of the song, the middle of the song features a breakdown that is sure to get a mosh pit started immediately and then there is another little solo at the end of the song. The band goes into softer territory on the fourth track, “God Only Knows Who I Am,” doing away with harsh vocals and featuring actual singing instead, with melodic lead guitar parts.
The guitar players do a commendable job in playing aggressive riffs, chugs and chord progressions that are atypical in the genre, but are nonetheless exciting and energetic. The drummer always keeps things exciting with interesting fills and the notorious “d-beat” the punk genre is known for. Surprisingly, the bass player is very versatile in his play style, playing his funky, groovy bass lines in a playful manner. The vocalist has a strong voice. His monotone, hardcore punk vocals stand out on top of the onslaught of heaviness.
The song structures are constantly changing from thrash-like, to groovy, and everything in between in no time. This quick variation prevents the album from boring the listener. Every song sounds different, which showcases, how good Suicidal Tendancies writes songs and how many different influences they have, all culminated in 13 songs. Old Suicidal Tendencies fans will feel the nostalgia when they listen to this album. The production feels gritty and unpolished, but that is the intention of the band, as a more pristine production might decrease the sincerity and hostility of this type of album.
Overall, Suicidal Tendencies have not disappoint with their comeback record, “13” in any aspect. The only negative thing about this album is that some songs seem to have had more thought put into them than others; for example, the last three songs on the album have the most variation of any of the other songs, with the inclusion of more clean vocals, acoustic guitar, gang chants, catchy guitar riffs and more.
“13” is a solid album that is sure to appease old fans but this album is also a great starting point for those who want to listen to this band, or even this style of music for the first time.