This, from what I hear, is one of Suicidal’s best-selling records, probably as much because of the name as the music. This is the first record with Robert Trujillo on bass, although for whatever reason, he is credited as “Stymee”. These days he makes a more than a comfortable living as the latest Cliff Burton stand-in in Metallica. The downside to this album is that the production is kinda flat. The upside is that there are several excellent songs on here. However, its should be noted, and I don’t see it in any of the other reviews, that half of this CD is actually cover songs, plus two more are different versions of the same song from Suicidal’s previous album.
Somewhat different versions of “Controlled By Hatred”, “Master Of No Mercy”, “Waking the Dead”, and “Choosing My Own Way Of Life” originally appeared “Widespread Bloodshed/Love Runs Red” by the band No Mercy in 1987 (NOT the mid-’90’s hip-hop group). No Mercy was Mike Clark’s first band, and Mike Muir replaced No Mercy’s original singer sometime in the mid-’80’s, before the album was recorded. This record is way out of print (a rumored re-issue has yet to appear) and its definitely worth the hunt to pick it up if you are a hardcore Suicidal fan, although it will cost you big bucks. A couple songs intended for a second No Mercy LP ended up on “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow” (including the title track). No Mercy sounds much more like the late ’80’s/early ’90’s Suicidal than, say, the band that recorded “Join The Army”. I think that “Controlled By Hatred” was one of the best songs that Suicidal ever recorded. “Waking The Dead” is also great. The other 2 songs are good, but don’t match the previous two. Anyway, another cover on here is “Its Not Easy”, originally recorded by the Mike Muir-side project Los Cycos in 1985 for the “Welcome To Venice” comp., a record than will cost you more that No Mercy’s, especially since the master tapes were destroyed in a fire, making a re-release almost impossible. “Its Not Easy” is all right. Its one those “Underneath my crazy exterior, I’m hurting” songs Mike Muir seemed to pull out at least twice per album. Then you’ve got two versions of “How Can I Laugh Tomorrow…” The first is the video edit. Completely useless, who needs the edited version of a song? The “heavy emotion version” on the other hand, is absolutely fantastic. Then you’ve got two more songs (original to this disc as far as I know), the excellent “Just Another Love Song” and the not-quite-as-good-but-still-pretty-good “Feel Like S***, Deja-Vu”.
A couple of people have made mention of “gangsta” image of this album, but that was something Suicidal had from the beginning, although it was mixed with a skater thing. Anyway, who cares about their image? Its not like they were singing about their ho’s and bling-bling. Besides, if you are a Suicidal fan you should already own this, and if you don’t like them then I doubt this CD will change your mind.