Suicidal Tendencies – ‘STill Cyco Punk After All These Years’ (Album Review)
As this album’s title indicates, crossover thrash masters Suicidal Tendencies have a habit of getting straight to the point. They generally live and play as fast as possible while still remaining musical, rarely wasting a moment on listener-boring self-indulgence. They know when to hit hard, when to hold back and groove, when to relax, and when to go over the top and melt some faces.
Pacing is key to Suicidal Tendencies’ success, but their stubborn nonconformity is equally important. STill Cyco Punk After All These Years – a reworked version of Mike Muir’s 1995 album Lost My Brain (Once Again!) – comes hot on the heels of the diverse and politically charged ST EP Get Your Fight On!, making it Suicidal Tendencies’ second statement of intent in six months. The message is clear: These guys don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks.
Even now, Suicidal Tendencies are taking charge of their own history, rewriting, re-recording, and upgrading it as they see fit. How many bands are willing (or able) to do likewise? The answer, of course, is very, very few – although if any thrash-related band were capable of snapping up drummer Dave Lombardo, they’d at least consider looking at their back catalogue and searching for something in need of restyling.
Calling STill Cyco Punk After All These Years an “improvement” on Lost My Brain (Once Again!) would be a major understatement. With 23 years between the two, the production is obviously much better, and Lombardo’s presence is immediately felt from I Love Destruction’s intro bars onward. The track listing itself is given a serious reshuffling, which will prevent too much predictability for long-time fans already familiar with Cyco Miko’s entire oeuvre, and original album closer Cyco Miko Wants You has been retitled Sippin’ From The Insanitea and refurbished so thoroughly that it’s barely recognisable. The other tracks undergo relatively minor surgery – but only the most dedicated superfans are likely to really pull out their notepads and take forensic notes on every microscopic detail.
Really, this album feels like it’s intended to introduce the latest generation of ST fans to a slice of band history they might have overlooked due to its dated sound, frequently below-par performances, and lack of Lombardo and co. The last Suicidal Tendencies lineup – to now be completed in live settings by Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Ben Weinman after Jeff Pogan recently departed – had everything you could ask for from a group of thrash-happy musicians set on redefining one of their leader’s favoured long-players, and they handle the task at hand expertly. Expect at least a few of these tunes to crop up at ST shows, prompting the assembled masses to go appropriately cyco.
LTK RATING: 7/10
Pre-order Still Cyco Punk After All These Years on iTunes.
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