Suicidal Tendencies – World Gone Mad


Suicidal for life!

Released on 30 September 2016 and reviewed by Jason Guest

1988’s How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I can’t Even Smile Today, 1990’s Lights… Camera… Revolution, and 1992’s The Art of Rebellion are the Suicidal Tendencies albums that won me over. Because of the musical diversity, the musicianship and the sheer power of Cyco Miko’s lyrical and vocal style displayed on those three records, their 1983 eponymous debut and the 1987 follow up Join The Army soon joined the collection. Then came a bump. 1993’s Still Cyco After All these Years – a re-recording of their debut with a few extras – did little for me. The songs were great as they were and I liked how the band of Art… sounded.

1994’s Suicidal For Life sounded like Muir and co. were trying to be something that they no longer were. And for a band that had proved to be as lyrically intelligent as they were musically accomplished to produce five of thirteen songs that relied on expletive-driven choruses, the album felt like a regression more than a development. Consequently, 1999’s Freedumb and 2000’s Free Your Soul and Save My Mind passed me by. I knew they were out but there was no desire to check them out. That Trujillo was no longer a part of the band didn’t help either.

But since 13 appeared in 2013 and got me paying attention to the band again, those albums have been given a fair few spins. And they are great records – for the most part anyway. Suicidal display as much musical diversity, instrumental accomplishment, and lyrical intensity on these records as ever they did. The power’s there, the intensity’s there, and the humour’s there, Cyco Miko as insightful and acerbic as ever he was. There are a few filler tracks and a few that are clear attempts to make the crowd’s collective booty move but fortunately, they are far outnumbered by some killer ST material. Consequently (yes, more consequences), Suicidal are making regular revisits to my daily playlists. It’s true what they say: Suicidal for life!

And then, what better news than Dave Lombardo – one of metal’s best and most versatile drummers – has joined Suicidal Tendencies and is recording with them? Album number twelve, World Gone Mad is on the way – more good news – and ‘Clap Like Ozzy’ is released. Oh. Erm. Well. Okay, it’s quirky… I s’pose. It’s fast and it’s furious – sort of – but it don’t do much. Then cometh the promo. ‘Clap Like Ozzy’s first and, thankfully, over with quickly. What follows are all the traits that have long made ST such a great band. Punk meets thrash meets hardcore meets metal meets funk meets attitude meets unbound energy and sheer determination in a flurry of rapid riffs, manic guitar fills and lead breaks, and basslines that groove alongside Muir’s unique vocals and defiant lyrics, all of which are propelled by Lombardo doing a stellar job behind the kit. No surprise there, huh? Tight and focussed, Lombardo’s playing is always good regardless of who he plays with, and here it’s no different. But this isn’t Slayer’s or Fantômas’s or Grip Inc.’s drummer. This is ST’s drummer. And with two other new additions to the band – bassist Ra Díaz and guitarist Jeff Pogan – Muir and long-time guitarist Dean Pleasants have an excellent band at their behest.

With politicians making a mockery of politics, journalists making a mockery of journalism, every bit of the world being bought, sold or destroyed, and everyone generally losing their marbles amidst this madness, this is the soundtrack to our age. Other than ‘Clap Like Ozzy’, there isn’t really a bad track here. The band is doing what they do best: delivering beautiful one-finger salutes to Captain Stupid, that fool that should have died a long time ago. If as Muir has suggested, this is to be ST’s final album, ST can leave with their head held high. Suicidal for life!

suicidal-tendencies-world-gone-mad7.5 out of 10

Track list:

  1. Clap Like Ozzy
  2. The New Degeneration
  3. Living For Life
  4. Get Your Fight On!
  5. World Gone Mad
  6. Happy Never After
  7. One Finger Salute
  8. Damage Control
  9. The Struggle Is Real
  10. Still Dying To Live
  11. This World