Suicidal For Life

Suicidal Tendencies

Epic, 1994

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


By this point in time, the members of Suicidal Tendencies were nearing the end of the line. They’d just come off their most commercially successful period with 1992’s The Art Of Rebellion and were looking to get out of their deal with Epic Records. To that end, they entered the studio with new drummer Jimmy DeGrasso in 1993 and produced one of the most uncommercial major label records ever released in the ‘90s.

Starting out with an “Invocation” spoken by frontman Mike Muir, the band begins flipping the bird at everyone around with songs like “No Fuck’n Problem,” “No Bullshit,” “Fucked Up Just Right!” and “Suicyco Muthafucka!” One listen to this record and one would believe the band set out to make the most un-radio friendly music around, but a lot of the material here is damn catchy and sticks with you, particularly if you’re easily pissed off at the world.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Unfortunately, by this time, the band was delving head first into strictly metallic riffs and their early hardcore sound was completely swept under the rug. So beware anyone who isn’t familiar with this record: there’s no punk here, just down and dirty thrash metal. The rhythm section of DeGrasso and bassist extraordinaire, Robert Trujillo, is tight as ever and keeps the music from sounding too generic. Luckily, lead guitarist Rocky George, one of the most underrated punk/metal guitarists in history, is on top of his game in terms of shredding and these things are the record’s main saving graces.

After listening to some of some of these songs, one might start feeling depressed, particularly after hearing “Depression And Anguish,” “Love Vs. Loneliness” and “What You Need’s A Friend” (also three of the few songs without any profanities, ironically). Earlier material from previous records at least gave the listener an ounce of hope; here, while the songs are decent enough, Muir comes off like the singer of some whiny emo band circa 2004. But it’s easy to say that by this point, the band put in the least amount of effort possible in order to wrap up their contract.

There’s one song that’s not so mediocre, thank God! That song is “Evil,” which has a great groove and low tonal delivery from Muir. It’s definitely a late era ST masterpiece. The most puzzling thing about the record (besides Muir’s weird monologue at the end of “Fucked Up Just Right!”) is the “Benediction” at the very end of the record, where Muir rambles on about questioning authority and telling all the listeners out there to take control of their lives. You really begin to wonder what was going on around Muir when he wrote the lyrics to this record.

In the end, the public yawned and after a summer tour with Metallica and Danzig, Suicidal called it quits by early 1995. They reunited three years later with a new lineup of Mike Muir, rhythm guitarist Mike Clark and all new members. This album was the end of an era for Suicidal Tendencies and it wouldn’t be until 2013 that they came back with an album that was worthy of their name and style. For diehard Suicidal fans, this record is essential, but for all others, it’s just a curiosity.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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