Legendary crossover-thrash icons SUICIDAL TENDENCIES are back with their hotly anticipated 12th and rumoured final studio album, World Gone Mad. With the addition of ex-SLAYER (and current MISFITS) drummer Dave Lombardo; alongside Jeff Pogan on rhythm guitar and Ra Diaz on bass SUICIDAL TENDENCIES have had an intriguing mix of youth and experience injected into their framework in recent months.
World Gone Mad opens up with Clap Like Ozzy and immediately Lombardo‘s drums make a forceful impact, laying the groundwork for Diaz‘s groovy bass to slide in opening the doors for the chaotic entry of Mike Muir‘s screaming vocals. SUICIDAL TENDENCIES make no apologies with their opening track, hitting the ground running with an unforgiving punk vibe coupled with a thrash tempo and pumping bass, unmistakably SUICIDAL TENDENCIES are on top of their game. Mike Muir‘s delivery of the chorus, a repetition of the phrase Clap Like Ozzy perhaps purposely could be misheard as Kamikaze. Which is quite apt, as at its core, this is a song about life, death and our perception of both, albeit a rather fun commentary on the human condition.
The New Degeneration is a call to arms for the new wave of miscreants, misfits and all other disenfranchised youths. Opening up with a dialogue narrated in received pronunciation, disregarding the youth of today as tyrants who have bad manners & despise authority cut-off by the crashing of Lombardo‘s symbols accompanied by dual heavy rasping riffs, TWISTED SISTER-esque in it’s delivery it must be said. The New Degeneration is, as a song catchy, it will undoubtedly have listeners nodding their heads and tapping their feet along, but it is repetitive and cliché. Unimaginative lyrics about youthful rebellion with a repeated chorus of ‘Come on show us what you got!’; not one of their most intellectually stimulating tracks, but certainly one to get the blood flowing and the adrenaline pumping.
The theme of brash punk rebellious anthems continues throughout the album, with such tracks as One Finger Salute and Living For Life. The title track, World Gone Mad, is a critique of the dumbing down of society, it’s a groove filled number with Muir‘s energetic vocal performance working in perfect contrast to the relatively calm tempo of the instrumentals.
The Struggle Is Real is a stand out track for fans who are dedicated to hardcore party thrash. A high tempo face-melter packed to the brim with ferocity, with squealing guitar solos, thunderous drums, all fans of MUNICIPAL WASTE, GAMA BOMB and D.R.I will enjoy losing their minds to this absolute rager of a headbanger.
The album finishes off with This World, a sombre account of self-conflicted thoughts with Muir repeating the line; ‘ This World Don’t Deserve My Love’ in a solemn tone. Lombardo implements a marching band style of drumming one that would be associated with Military Tattoos and funerals adding to the sobering ambience of the final track. Is this really SUICIDAL TENDENCIES saying goodbye?
In heavy metal there are expectations from certain bands; their fans find solace in familiarity, a comforting escape from the monotonous everyday grind. SLAYER and AC/DC fans know what a new record is going to sound like before its release, the same can be said for SUICIDAL TENDENCIES. With the addition of three new band members nothing original nor outstanding is brought to the table, that being said it didn’t need to be, Muir, Lombardo & Co did not go out to re-invent the wheel, they had a formula and executed it to perfection. SUICIDAL TENDENCIES innovated their crossover sound in the 80’s and have allowed it to mature over a distinguished career.
World Gone Mad is rumoured to be the bands final full length studio album and if it were to be the case, it certainly does SUICIDAL TENDENCIES justice. It perfectly sums up what the band has stood for over the years, be politically engaged, be punk but most of all have fun, enjoy life, let loose and have a Pepsi.
World Gone Mad is out now via Suicidal Records.
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