Suicidal Tendencies - No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Suicidal Tendencies

No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family (2010)


For 10 years since the release of 2000's Free Your Soul...And Save My Mind, Mike Muir has been teasing us with various reissues, re-recordings and live offerings from Suicidal Tendencies and his various associated acts. From the recently released Live at the Olympic Auditorium DVD and Infectious Grooves/Cyco Miko live disc to tour-released compilation Year of the Cycos, there hasn't been a patently new studio album in a decade and the tradition continues with No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family.

Half the songs on this disc are selected re-recorded tracks from Suicidal Tendencies' 1987 crossover masterpiece Join the Army, while the other half are re-recorded versions of a couple selections from No Mercy's first and only album Widespread Bloodshed...Love Runs Red, which originally featured Muir and Mike Clark of ST.

The album sounds good. The songs are tight, the mastering is spot on, and there isn't really much to complain about, unless one ventures to ask what the point of such a release is. First of all, why take only part of each album and re-record only some of the songs instead of re-recording either of them in their entirety? Secondly, why do it at all? I don't remember anything being wrong with either album.

Anyways, enough with the guesswork. No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family is packed with punk anthems and maniacal metal guitars that slice through the speakers like cold steel. Songs like "I Feel Your Pain...And I Survive" absolutely shred, while "The Prisoner" captures all the energy of the 1987 original. The retooled version of "Possessed to Skate" is pretty rad, though I've always felt like the song isn't complete without its classic video to accompany it.

Of the No Mercy songs, the bass and guitar playing dominate speed metal cuts like "We're F'n Evil" and "I'm Your Nightmare," while the lyrics are a little simplistic, even by Suicidal Tendencies standards. The collection comes to its close with the title track from Widespread Blood Shed...Love Runs Red, a thrashing crossover ballad with no shortage of finger-tapping guitar solos and double-bass fury that all comes together in a rather endearing way.

Whatever the reasons for re-recording and re-releasing these tracks, No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family is a solid set of selections in new forms. Until the rumors of a new, original studio release come to fruition, this is the closest yet to new material from Southern California's original cyco stalwarts.