Suicidal Tendencies - How Will I Laugh Tomorrow... When I Can't Even Smile Today review


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Band: Suicidal Tendencies
Album: How Will I Laugh Tomorrow... When I Can't Even Smile Today
Release date: September 1988

01. Trip At The Brain
02. Hearing Voices
03. Pledge Your Allegience
04. How Will I Laugh Tomorrow
05. The Miracle
06. Suicyco Mania [CD bonus]
07. Surf And Slam
08. If I Don't Wake Up
09. Sorry!?
10. One Too Many Times
11. Feeling's Back

Suicidal Tendencies was one of the more influential and important bands of the hard core/thrash cross over. Their first two release - the absolutely ripping self titled debut and the decent "Join the Army" were punk records with decidedly metallic influences.

Their third release, 1988's "How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today?" saw them cross over to the thrash metal side of the fence.

Rhythm guitarist Mike Clark lays down some fat thrash riffs and the band's switch to metal unleashed Rocky George to go absolutely nuts all over the fretboard. Simply put, he was a phenomenal guitarist. He shreds but he also had the uncanny ability to capture the emotional lyrics of Muir and match that same feeling in his solos. Bob Heathcote's bass rumbles along with the music, but he has a few moments to shine during some bass fills, and RJ Herrera does a good job behind the drum kit.

The band was the vision of "Cyco Miko" Mike Muir. His evocative lyrics tackle dark subject matter. Not the run of the heavy metal dungeons and dragons type crap, but battling severe depression, coping with a sense of loneliness and just the every day shit that we as human beings face. His demons are of the personal nature. At the same time his lyrics are extremely empowering. "If I Don't Wake Up" spend three quarters of the song wondering if his even life matters, if he's made any impact on anyone or if he should even bother to wake up at all… then on the last verse he kicks in:

That was then, not anymore. Now I go blasting out that door. I'm gonna wake up in the morning. I'll prove you wrong, I will not fail. I'm gonna wake up in the morning. I'm gonna blaze a brand new trail.

"The Feeling's Back" is another great track that pumps the listener up and has them ready to tear down any obstacle that gets in their way.

It's hard to believe this band was targeted by Tipper Gore and the PMRC - Mike's honest lyrics and vocals probably helped empower kids to overcome their own teen angst bullshit that they were going through.

All of these elements come together in "How Will I Laugh" and the result is a pretty freaking good record. They are at their best on tracks like "Trip at the Brain", "Sorry?", "The Feeling's Back" and the title track where they thrashing along full tilt. There are a couple tracks like the anthemic "Pledge Your Allegiance" that lack the same energy, emotion, and power of the faster songs, but even still they are solid.

I highly recommend this album for anyone into 80's thrash or crossover. Hell, if you are any kind of thrash fan you should already have this!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Written on 04.05.2009 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.

Guest review by
How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today is Suicidal Tendencies' third studio album and their departure from their previous hardcore punk era which was heavily featured on their self titled debut and their second album Join The Army. Here, the band is starting to transform, and Suicidal Tendencies is one of if not the most important and influential band in the genre of crossover thrash.

published 13.06.2013 | Comments (0)


Comments: 7   Visited by: 100 users
06.05.2009 - 09:49
Seeker of Truth
I'm intrigued. I listened to their first album, and it was pretty good. I guess this is the band whose lyrics you just have to listen to. I love the way "Institutionalised" was rendered by Mike Muir, so I'm definitely checking this album out and reading/listening to the lyrics.

Thanx for the great review.
Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner

Satan was a Backstreet Boy
06.05.2009 - 10:15
I bought this album a few years ago, but it was too slow for me so I never played it again after the first spin. I think I'll pop it in again since the review speaks so highly of it.
06.05.2009 - 13:01
Darkside Momo
I found Suicidal pretty hard to get into, strangely. But they're definitely worth it, awesome to see live, and this album is certainly one of their best.

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
06.05.2009 - 20:07
This was ST's first album i listened to....awesome with great lyrics....of those ones that lapse of time wont lessen the impression you got when you heard it for the first time.
You who will come to the surface
From the flood that's overwhelmed us and drowned us all
Must think, when you speak of our weakness in times of darkness
That you've not had to face
06.05.2009 - 21:02
Written by Dangerboner on 06.05.2009 at 10:15

I bought this album a few years ago, but it was too slow for me so I never played it again after the first spin. I think I'll pop it in again since the review speaks so highly of it.

it does have some slow tracks on it, the more "anthemic" in nature, and the faster tracks aren't like "Damage, Inc" fast, but they do kick ass.
get the fuck off my lawn.
17.02.2010 - 02:57
This is the shit!!!
07.11.2012 - 07:38
Totally awesome release!One of those albums that still to me after all these years i can play and never get sick of,one of my alltime favourites

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