Album Review: Suicide Generation – “1st Suicide”
If you were going to pick two of the most viscerally ferocious but brilliant bands of recent years, then Atomic Suplex and the Cavemen would both surely be up there. On the one hand, you’ve got red raw garage rock with added sax fronted by a bloke in aviator shades and a crash helmet who insists on screaming through a megaphone, on the other hand you’ve got a bunch of rabid New Zealand ex-pats who write the sort of zero fucks given songs about things like losing your girlfriend to Adolf Hitler that are rarely over 90 seconds long. So the prospect of Suicide Generation, a supergroup of sorts consisting of various sometime members of these two bands, sounds like a deliciously evil prospect capable of levelling whole districts of London with a single power chord and scream.
Except… somehow, it doesn’t quite work. Essentially 1st Suicide sounds kind of like you thought it would with the requisite screaming vocals, dumb-as-you-like Stooges style riffola and most tracks screeching to a halt around the two minute mark. The trouble is that it’s hobbled quite badly by a mix that’s muddier than a festival field during rainy season. Yes yes, I know lo-fi production is kind of the point with bands like this, but it sounds like whoever was nominally in charge of recording this thing simply chucked a dictaphone into a trashcan in the middle of the studio and then buggered off to the pub. This whole mini-album is sunk in echoey mud, with a lot of the venom and ferocity that you suspect a band like this would exude live completely and totally diluted.
It’s a real shame because there’s the signs of some decent tunes in here, such as the demented rockabilly stomp of London Blues and the feral Love Is Hate and Evil Everywhere, but they just can’t punch through the wall of echo that’s enveloped the whole record. As such they just leave you cold where Cavemen and Atomic Suplex albums would have gleefully pummelled your brain into burger meat. All in all, I’m afraid 1st Suicide has to go down as a bit of an opportunity missed.
Bloody hell, ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Given the sheer feral power of both of the groups that Suicide Generation were born from, it's really frustrating that 1st Suicide feels like such a hobbled album with all the aggression blunted by the terrible mix and production here. Reviewer's verdict - sorry but you'd be better off saving your money for the next Cavemen or Atomic Suplex album.