Swarming police cars are rarely a good sign at a performance, but as always for a Suicidal Tendencies show, the police and the rough, mostly male crowd were on hand at the Bayou Tuesday night.
The hard-core quintet from L.A. opened with a raucous "Can't Bring Me Down," and continued in much the same way for the rest of the set. The most interesting of their songs match upbeat, but always extremely fast, rhythms with depressing lyrics of teenage angst. "I Saw Your Mommy and Your Mommy's Dead" and "Church of the Suicidal" drew the most vocal approval.
Lead singer Michael Muir's demonic grin, high-energy stomping and intimate rapport with an audience make a seductive combination with Rocky George's lead guitar. Unfortunately, both Muir's surprisingly smooth voice and George's soaring and screaming lines were buried beneath the high-volume distortion. Then again, the sweat-slicked bodies shoving and slamming each other in the pit probably didn't notice, or didn't care. Nor did it seem to matter that all the songs sounded the same.
Perhaps another bad sign was a capacity, all-ages crowd chanting "suicidal, suicidal."
Egypt, the local group opening the show, showed greater dexterity. Its three-part harmonies worked best over the funkier, rollicking grooves, but the audience preferred the harder-edged songs Egypt emphasized for this gig.