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Emotional Suicide: The Word

Having recently re-issued an updated version of their sole, self-titled album, Emotional Suicide make a quick-fire return with an extended version of their 1992 debut 4 track EP, The Word, which has now been lengthened by the addition of 6 further songs. The band was formed in the UK the same year their EP was recorded by Mark (Witty) Whitlock (vocals), Bud Rogers (guitars), Jase Manning (bass) and Mark Thorman (drums), who sadly passed away in the summer of 2023.

Reviewing the band’s debut full length effort was interesting in that it seemed to find an outfit straddling and maybe struggling between a hard rock attack and something much more metal. Wind back to the EP that preceded it and things become a little clearer, because Emotional Suicide really were an all out hard rock act in their beginnings, with Witty’s gritty vocals reminding of Quiet Riot’s Kevin Dubrow but with a hint of Mike Howe of Metal Church also in evidence. Heavier than the US fare that had closed out the 80s in triumphant style before crashing and burning on the rocks of grunge, the likes of “The Word” and the energetic “Spellbound” suggest that these lads might have been onto something had the scene they were starting out in lasted, and it’s a shame that The Word EP didn’t gain a little more traction.

The six extra tracks kind of muddy the water a little, the band themselves stating that they illustrate the transition from rock to metal that they were attempting. “Fake” feels much more like the former, while “Mr America” seems to flounder in neither camp. Yes, it’s fast but it never quite becomes furious, or indeed infectious. Add in that “No Man’s Land” is a slower cut that tries to convey a much more grown up attitude without having the gravitas to pull it off and, for me anyway, there’s more of a feel of a band hunting for their sound than there is the culmination of those efforts.

Thankfully “Slave To Passion” possesses much more cut and thrust and “Heaven” a line in catchy hook laden choruses. Add in the darting “Free Again” and for me this outfit were much more convincing when they were mining their 80s influences. However, the main stumbling block is the perfunctory sound of all ten tracks right across this release and while they have been spruced up for this reissue, you can’t quite shake off the feel that you’re listening to a demo tape of a band your mate saw live and raved about.

I suppose that’s the rub here, because I kind of guess that you ‘had to be there’ to get the most out of these recordings from Emotional Suicide. In my mind’s eye they feel like they’d have provided the perfect Saturday night soundtrack in some sweaty club. Without that context I’d suggest that The Word and their debut full length album kind of get lost in the midst of time.

Track Listing
1. The Word
2. Premonition
3. Spellbound
4. It
5. Fake
6. No Man’s land
7. My America
8. Slave To Passion
9. Heaven
10. Free Again

Added: December 19th 2023
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Emotional Suicide @ bandcamp
Hits: 400
Language: english

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