Crossover heroes fight on

The other week MV was reading an interview online with Mike Muir, the living, breathing beating heart of Suicidal Tendencies since 1980. He said something interesting: the band were “nothing” in England, he opined.

This set MV to thinking.  We have been a fan of the band since the late 1980s when we got into bands like Anthrax and Faith No More. As a kid in the early teens, MV frankly didn’t give two shits about crossover this, funk metal that, we just know we liked the songs.

Nonetheless, it set us thinking. Maybe Muir as right and the band were nowhere near what they should be in this country, and maybe like the opening line of the title track says: the whole world’s going insane.

Whatever, the band are back with their first album for three years and with a new line up. The key point here is the presence of Dave Lombardo behind the kit, and if the Slayer drummer couldn’t be on a bad record if he tried, then even still he excels himself throughout this.

As ever, with Suicidal Tendencies you have no idea what the hell is coming next, so it opens with the monumental thrash of “Clap Like Ozzy” which cheerfully gets its hi-tops on and slams like its 1983, there’s the nihilistic crusher of “The New Degeneration” and there’s a “Living For Life” which kicks off like it wants to be on the first Sabbath record, gets bored and races around as if on a sugar rush – we aren’t even twenty minutes in and there’s already been casualties in the pit you can bet.

If however, you wanted to distil why this is quite so damn good, then you could do a lot worse than listen to “Get Your Fight On”. There’s what we might euphemistically term a “radio friendly” hook, before Muir raps the opening couplet: “I look around and see a world gone crazy/ I used to blame I on the hippies and the stoners and the lazy” before laying waste to all the problems in the world and solving them in less than five and a half minutes. That right there is ST back ladies and gents. Rebels with a cause, no one does this shit better.

Elsewhere “Happy Never After” is as catchy and dumb as you like, and to be honest if you need a description of “One Finger Salute” then we’d respectfully suggest that you aren’t the target audience here.

Which leads us back to the original point. Why aren’t Suicidal Tendencies huge in the UK? Why aren’t grooves as big as those on “Damage Control” all over the place? Why don’t kids in skinny jeans mosh to the wonderful “The Struggle Is Real”?

The answer is, sometimes there is no answer and bands are just unlucky. Either way, Suicidal Tendencies have made a brilliantly varied record – “Still Dying To Live” a near eight minute almost psychedelic epic, if you please, and “This World” enjoys the whole stripped back thing so much it does it again.

Is it going to being them worldwide fame? Who knows what people are going to buy. What is far more certain is that “World Gone Mad” is superb.

Rating 8/10

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