Suicidal Tendencies deliver disappointment and boredom in equal measure on new EP ‘Get Your Fight On!’

by liam toner (@tonerliam)rating 3

When first hearing that Suicidal Tendencies were releasing a new EP, the expectation was a collection of mediocre hardcore punk tracks performed by a cast of past-it middle-aged guys; upon listening, it becomes very quickly apparent that not even those expectations have been met.

Suicidal Tendencies’ golden moment in their long tenure came in the form of their 1983 self-titled album which blended sounds from both the early developing thrash metal movement and the sounds and energy of the American hardcore scene to pioneer the sub genre crossover thrash. The band went on to put out a slew of quality releases through the rest of the 80s and gathered a considerable fan base. Going to hardcore shows today you’re still likely to spot somebody with a trucker cap sporting the word ‘Suicidal’ beneath the visor.

The first glaring issue with this EP right off the bat is that this release clocks in at 45 minutes long, which is an absurd length for an EP. This might not have been so bad if 45 minutes of new Suicidal Tendencies was engaging and interesting, but they dropped the ball on that as well. We, the fortunate listeners, are treated to ten tracks. Two of these tracks (#1 and #4) are re-recordings of songs from vocalist Mike Muir’s 90s solo project Cyco Miko, the 6th track is a Stooges’ cover and the last four tracks are all different versions of the same song. This leaves us with three new, original tracks not including the four versions of Get Your Fight On.

The opening track Nothing to Lose is the strongest track on here for sure. It’s a high energy slice of crossover thrash with some really solid riffing and lead guitar work that, on the first listen, raises hopes for the EP actually being not too bad before progressively nose diving as it continues on. The only issue with this particular track, however, was some of the cheesy “let’s go let’s go” backing vocals.

Unfortunately, Nothing to Lose is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cheesy vocals and lyrics. The subsequent two tracks consist mostly of mid-tempo funk rock grooves allowing members of the band to rap over, which lets the cringe-worthy lyrics really shine through. There’s just something inherently silly about a bunch of middle aged guys writing childish lyrics about not taking shit from anyone and hating authority, but you’ll find plenty of that on here. The most cringe-inducing song on the EP is definitely Ain’t Messing Around and although you can see the band were trying to come across as inspiring and free thinking, the result was a lot more unintentionally hilarious than the band would have planned.

When Dave Lombardo’s name appears on the drumming credits for this Suicidal Tendencies release, it’s hard not to get excited to see what he would bring to the table. Lombardo played on all of Slayer’s classic 80s albums where he set the stage for how most drummers in thrash metal would play, as well as solidifying himself as one of the most influential metal drummers of all time. Unfortunately, though, his talents can’t make up for some of the lacklustre songwriting on the EP. As mentioned earlier, the second half of the EP features 4 versions of the same song. Two feature different vocals, while one is just a backing track for a four minute bass solo and the other for an equally long guitar solo. It’s mind boggling to think why the band decided putting all four of these tracks on here would be a good idea. All they do is bore the listener beyond belief and take the EP up to a ridiculous 45 minute run time.

Despite Suicidal Tendencies being a band of very talented musicians, what they have put out here is awfy disappointing – featuring sub par songs, cringe-inducing lyrics and instilling an overall feeling of boredom on the listener.

TRACK REVIEW: United States of Horror by Ho99o9

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

One thing that seems to be painfully apparent in the influx of anti-Trump tunes since his 2016 election win is the sheer juxtaposition. Of course, it’s great to have bands and artists of all genres to say how much they’re against the tangerine fascist but no one seems to be able to channel the true fear that is embedded in the US right now. After all, gritty guitars and singing can only do so much in conveying the terror a man in such a high position can go through with.

That is until H09909 reappeared from their gloom-drenched cesspool that they’ve called home. Showcasing a knack for crafting spine-chilling tunes with unparalleled lunacy, the American duo said it best themselves in a 2014 post when commenting on their sound:

Not cool, hard to understand, rude & crude, loud & disrespectful, I have Ebola, death dealers, 999 mutant freax

It’s not hard to see where the act lies on the topic of Trump as United States Of Horror kickstarts with booming synths before the staple roaring of The OGM begins. A variety of clips begin to play during the music video as the anarchy resumes, images of Nazi rallies and KKK burnings making the link between Trump and this institutional racism all too apparent. The bass feels like at any moment it’s about to burst, like a balloon almost begging to burst, and it is as daunting as it is intriguing.

While the topic and gargantuan distortedness of the song may be horrifying, United States of Horror still manages to find a catchy hook that will incite passion and rage into anyone lucky to have this song infiltrate their ears.

Ho99o9 have never been and never will be about subtlety, though: the act is more likely to etch their message into your temple with face melting audio brutality than they are to leave their lyrics up to interpretation. It’s what helps the band to stand out from the onslaught of Death Grips impersonators who are under the impression that anyone can bash random keys and become avant-garde.

If Run The Jewels were the smooth but furious answer to America’s incompetence then H099o9 are the full blown anarchy that such neglect and abuse cause. As the United States of Horror goes: if y’all want peace then you better be ready for war and H09909 have delivered the audio equivalent of flamethrowers.