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Heart of Teen Angst

***SUICIDAL TENDENCIES. “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow . . . When I Can’t Even Smile Today.” Epic. With the addition of a second guitarist and a cleaner, big-budget production, punkers Suicidal Tendencies further muddy the line between hardcore and metal. The Venice band emerges from this gray area with a solid album that will appeal to both warring sides at the far end of the heavy-music spectrum. The weighty rhythms are balanced by surprisingly insightful lyrics that capture the very heart of teen-age Angst and alienation.

This mood is best defined by the questioning, cynical slam-fest of “The Miracle,” and the tuneful-turned-angry title track. The record’s strong production never detracts from the emotional rawness of the music--instead, it adds clarity to ST’s visions, which often appear like a white-hot spotlight out of the blackest thoughts. Take “If I Don’t Wake Up,” for example, which begins in the depths of depression and bursts back with a fighting attitude that refuses to take no for an answer. This song, above all, proves that despite the implications of the name, the members of Suicidal Tendencies are survivors.


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