Personnel: Mike Muir (vocals); Dean Pleasants, Mike Clark (guitar).
Recording information: St Studio; Stall #2.
The utterly entangled story of Suicidal Tendencies and the various bands, side projects, and more that have been part of their overall orbit continues with No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family, with the 2010 lineup of the group revisiting both the Join the Army album and tracks by No Mercy, the band that Mike Muir joined as a singer in the mid-'80s and which led to said group's guitarist Mike Clark becoming part of Suicidal in turn -- and which also initially led the two of them to re-record some No Mercy tracks for Suicidal's Controlled by Hatred/Feel Like Shit.Deja Vu back in 1989. So it's something like a tribute to themselves twice over, and to unpack all the layers of self-referentiality might require Jorge Luis Borges to come back from the dead. Given the thrash revival of recent years, it's a timely enough self-tribute; more than once a listener has to pinch himself to remember it's a 21st century release rather than a 20th century one. (That said, maybe the bass wasn't quite as clear back then as now, so due credit to Steve Brunner as well as the overall engineering.) Muir and Clark sound as frenetically focused as ever; if anything, their recent touring and release schedule seems to have given them even more of a second wind, while tackling the core time when Muir's original focus went from rough punk rants to focused metal rampages is its own fun history lesson in miniature. If there aren't any surprises by default, hearing songs like "The Prisoner" and "I'm Your Nightmare" ripping along like no tomorrow is its own reward. ~ Ned Raggett
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