Suicidal Tendencies - No Mercy Fool!/the Suicidal Family
Suicidal Tendencies were once, along with Black Flag, Circle Jerks and the like, part of a deadly SoCal hardcore scene. Lead by singer Mike Muir and guitarist Mike Clark, Venice, CA's favorite sons were one of the first "crossover" bands to come out of the underground; at least, classics like "Institutionalized" and "Possessed To Skate" made it on to the fledgling MTV once in awhile in 1987.
Then they switched gears, dropping Muir and becoming a fairly pedestrian metal band, one that nevertheless initially rode a wave of interest in punk/metal hybrids like Anthrax and SOD. Released on their own label, "No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family" is kind of an odd duck: basically a re-recording of many of their classic hardcore songs (mostly from their first two LP's, "Join The Army" and "No Mercy") by the current metal lineup, which still features Clark and Muir at the helm.
We do get "Possessed to Skate," if in a longer version touched up with soloing and brief synths. As expected, some songs suffer from the new approach ("The Prisoner," "Something Inside Me") while songs like "I Feel Your Pain," "No Name No Words" and "No Mercy Fool!" actually sound better, fatter, than the originals. Now matter that this is a mixed bag: hearing Mike Clark let it rip and Mike Muir testify one more time is more than a treat.
"No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family" will probably disappoint longtime fans of Suicidal Tendencies, from both their hardcore and metal heydays. But the more ferocious tunes here, and there are many, may win new fans and give oldsters pause.
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