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SUICIDAL TENDENCIES STill Cyco Punk After All These Years

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 @ 1:10 PM


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SUICIDAL TENDENCIES
STill Cyco Punk After All These Years

Suicidal Records




If SUICIDAL TENDENCIES’ latest effort leaves you with a sense of déjà vu, it’s no wonder. While not exactly a repeat of what the band did with 1993’s Still Cyco After All These Years, STill Cyco Punk After All These Years continues up what has become a well-traveled alley for SUICIDAL.

But instead of redoing more ST tracks of old – as the band did on Still Cyco and again with 2010’s No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family collection - STill Cyco Punk revisits frontman and lone original member Mike “Cyco Miko” Muir’s debut solo album, 1996’s Lost My Brain (Once Again), and gives it a SUICIDAL going over. A subtle variation, to be sure, but a variation nonetheless.

STill Cyco Punk features 10 of the original album’s 12 songs – “Ain’t Mess’n Around”, which was redone for the Get Your Fight On! EP last March, and “Cyco Miko Wants You” were omitted, and the previously unreleased “Sippin’ From The Insanitea” added - resequenced and rerecorded by the band, which now features longtime guitarist Dean Pleasants, and newer recruits bassist Ra Diaz and ex-SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo. The big difference here, over the other remakes, comes in the execution.

Where Still Cyco put a thrash metal boot up the ass of tracks from the first SUICIDAL album, and Suicidal Family offered an INFECTIOUS GROOVES-like funk metal take on tunes from Join The Army, STill Cyco Punk delivers old-school West Coast punk rock with rough and tumble panache, capturing the spirit of the band’s earliest work in remaking tunes Muir didn’t feel fit the SUICIDAL mold at the time he wrote them. Funny how what goes around really does come around.

The band plays it pretty straight and keeps things lean, mean and lively throughout while Muir rambles and rants with his usual mix of vehemence, whimsy and lunacy. The songs here are remarkably simple and direct — vintage punk rock, in other words — with the opener “I Love Destruction” setting tone with its three-chords-and-a-cloud-of-dust approach. Save for Pleasant’s nimble, but often fleeting, squealing leads, there is very little metallic flash here at all.

For his part, Lombardo sets a punchy, steady pace, offering his signature double-bass salvos only briefly, on “It’s Always Something”, “Save A Peace For Me”, “Nothin’ To Lose” and “All Kinda Crazy”, and keeping his legendarily limber fills to short, sharp bursts. He is something of a model of restraint here, but keeps things moving along briskly and efficiently.

The band’s determined approach to the relatively bare-bones compositions gives STill Cyco Punk the sort of soul and swagger that the earlier SUICIDAL remakes lacked to a degree. Instead of reinvention or reinterpretation, the band opted for reinvigoration this time around and STill Cyco Punk connects where it counts, on a visceral level, as a result.

The jangly, bracing riffs and repeat-after-me, shout-along choruses of “All I Ever Get”, “Gonna Be Alright”, “Ain’t Gonna Get Me” — or “F.U.B.A.R.”'s oft-repeated “You fucked up!” admonition — deliver catchiness and crunch in equal measure and definitely stick with you. After being initially skeptical, even dismissive, of STill Cyco Punk, given that SUICIDAL had gone this route a couple times before, I found myself liking it more with every spin. It feels genuine and inspired, and harks back to what made SUICIDAL so vibrant and vital in the first place but has been lost along the way.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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