Freedumb (Suicidal Records/Side One Dummy)
By: Alex Steininger
With their first new record in over five years, Suicidal Tendencies are back with their hardcore punk/thrash/funk sound. Packing fourteen brutal punk nuggets, the band cuts through all the crap and just puts it all on the line as they rock and roll their way to the finish (as fast as they can too, because these songs are super fast).
Freedumb starts everything off just the way you'd expect: loud, aggressive, and full of venom. The rhythm section kicks ass as they beat their instruments senseless trying to get the bloodiest, brutal sound for your listening pleasures. The guitar screams with fury as it races through the song with sweat and dirt flying everywhere. Then there are the vocals, which spit out the words with both screams and melodic spite.
Funking up the hardcore punk sound is "Half Way Up My Head," which introduces some funk into the mix. Now, this isn't your standard cheesy funk to make you dance, this is hardcore funk with a metal edge to it. Here they use it to draw you in before snapping your neck with their fierce punk rock that is sure to, and does, explode about fifty seconds into the song.
Slowing things down a bit is "Naked," which takes on a more melodic punk stance. Instead of ripping up the ground with terrorizing guitar riffs and glass shattering rhythm beats, the band decides its time to get the listener singing along. But, at what cost you ask? Well, they don't lose the edge that makes them S.T., that's for sure. The song still has a spice to it like no other, and half way through, as you'd expect, the S.T. standard hardcore punk sound is once again visited before changing back with a slight funk bridge.
"We Are Family" gets the metal grind going as the band loses the punk sound all together and goes for some funk/thrash/metal hardcore to kick things off. The punk makes its way back slowly into the song, but most everything is dominated with a metal/hardcore kick.
Ending with an almost funk/punk ballad of sorts is "Heaven." Imagine Suicidal Tendencies teaming up with the Red Hot Chili Peppers with both parties adding something to the recording session and this is about what you get. Very funky and melodic, but the hardcore punk edge is still lurking beneath everything.
All the energy, aggression, and tension that has been bottled up for the past five years has now been released, on this new album. The band unleashes it all as they let the shit hit the fan and just put the pedal to the metal to come up with the loudest, sweatiest album they could. I'll give it a B+.