The Art of Rebellion
From 1986 until last year, California authorities wouldn’t permit Suicidal Tendencies to perform in large venues anywhere within earshot of L.A. because they were afraid the hardcore group might inspire a riot. Given the evidence on The Art of Rebellion, you’d think the offense was impersonating Pink Floyd instead. After a decade, sole Suicidal survivor Mike Muir, billed here as ”Cyco Miko,” is revamping his persona along with his revolving personnel. He’s no longer the community revolutionary, compared with bad neighbors like Ice-T, and he has been crowded off the funk-fusion wagon by hotter Chili Peppers. What’s more, Nirvana and Metallica have yelled The Art of Rebellion‘s teen alien themes like real rebels and better artists. It’s hard to be convincing when your band can only offer hardcore cliches that your producer only Roger Waters-down. Even the best song, the power ballad ”Asleep at the Wheel,” is a little too close to dinosaur rock for comfort. But rising for the first time above the thrash, Muir’s experiments — particularly with uncanny, Ray Davies-like vocals — suggest that there may be life after suicide yet.