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Hardcore Tendencies:
Though sometimes biting the forbidden Bizkit, Suicidal Tendencies still rocks

By Matt Koumaras

WE NEED BANDS to ring the rock & roll bell and muster up a sound and feeling so intense it flips us over and makes us salivate from head to toe. Suicidal Tendencies is still a rare treasure, ripping Miracle Ear hearing aids out of eardrums left and right Nov. 2 at Palookaville.

Opening up with the straight-up defiant snarl punk of "Fascist Pig" before veering off into the glorious "War Inside My Head" hardcore anthem, the band summoned up a psycho combat pit zone. Vocalist Mike Muir, doing his nonstop Xanadu aerobic moves, kept the crowd mesmerized even on the newer tunes from the band's latest, Freedumb. His vocals on "Hippie Killer" showed an energetic brutality as mammoth as the night I accidentally tipped over those tricycles outside of Henfling's.

Mike Clark's and Dean Pleasants' crunchy guitars on "Cyco Vision" formed hallowed civilizations. And when Muir shouted out the "he rips, he skates, he never hesitates" chorus on "Possessed to Skate," I just knew he dedicated that song to me, Metro Santa Cruz's most tubular rollerblader.

Suicidal occasionally took a lame bite out of the Korn/Limp Bizkit style of music, but they always came back with a classic like "I Saw Your Mommy" that kept the exit far away. A good punk show can be judged by how many missing shoes there are on the floor at the end of the show, and let me tell you, there were enough shoes to shut down Robert's.

Let's work our way through the Custom Made Scare 18-point inspection. An aging, annoying John Cougar-wannabe singer who refuses to take that door-to-door vacuum salesperson job--check. Guitar riffs pilfered from the Murder City Devils without the attitude--check. Plenty of songs about white-trash girls, shotguns and speed that proved as painful as having Jeff Foxworthy as your dentist pulling out your teeth while he performs his whole redneck routine in slo-mo--check. This was custom- made suck.

Riff Raff got the evening started in fine fashion. Troy's guitar pulled a punk-rock rabbit out of the hat every time with his zippy leads. Thom sliced and diced complicated drum rhythms with effortless flair. Paul's defined bass lines exude attitude and power while maintaining his hold on the meanest bass-playing stance in Santa Cruz. The addition on rhythm guitar of Josh (from Nothing Substantial) gave each song a beefy clout that improved on a good thing.


Burlacticus Undertow, Exploding Crustaceans and Stellarvision play Skinny's Friday; the Suffering, Static Drive and Pocket for Corduroy play Stevenson Rec Room 7:30pm Saturday; also Saturday, SPIV plays a KZSC benefit at the Pizza Junxion at 7:30pm; Chaos Lounge is on the Idle Hands show 4 to 7pm Tuesday on Free Radio Santa Cruz 93.3FM.

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From the November 10-17, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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