Suicidal Tendencies (Frontier) 1983
1. "Suicide's an
Alternative/You'll be Sorry" (2:40)
"All I wanted was a Pepsi! Just one Pepsi! And you wouldn't give it to me!" Suicidal's introduction to the world was this bizarre punk record that was chock full of youthful angst, fast guitars and bizarre tales of teenage frustration and anger. Their sound is frenzied skate punk along the lines of Minor Threat, Black Flag and even a helping of the Sex Pistols. Back when this album came out, I thought it was pretty freakin' funny. Songs like "I Saw Your Mommy..." and "Institutionalized" are actually pretty sick, but at the same time were meant to be humorous looks at teenage rebellion. These two songs were actually pretty popular but weren't really typical of the overall sound of this record. "Suicide's An Alternative," "I Shot Reagan", and "Possessed" are more typical of this album; fast punk rock with random leads and rapid fire hardcore vocals. "I Shot Reagan" is listed as "I Shot the Devil" on the CD. I can't remember if the original vinyl had it listed correctly or not. This would be the last album of it's kind from Suicidal as future releases would move in a more metallic direction. (thanks Howard)
Suicidal Tendencies - Join the Army (Caroline) 1987
1. "Suicidal Maniac"
"Join the Army" is the album that was the band's crossover from punk to thrash metal sounding a bit like early M.O.D. or C.O.C. Sort of standard skate punk with a certain mosh element. Better things to come. Have to say though, the title track will cave in your skull. What a killer song! There are a few other standout cuts:"Possessed to Skate" and "Cyco". With a title like "Cyco" what could you expect?
Suicidal Tendencies - How Will I Laugh Tomorrow... (Epic) 1988
1. "Trip at the Brain"
Well the suicidal, cyco, skate punks of the early 80's die a quick and painful death, giving way to a more streamlined, crossover, thrash metal machine. What a difference a year can make. Sellout? Perhaps. Crossover? Who cares! I like it better that way. Furious, aggressive and on a metallic mission to bring the masses of metalheads into the hardcore fold. Guitarist Rocky George shreds with the best of them. Gotta love it.
Suicidal Tendencies - Controlled By Hatred / Feel Like Shit... Deja Vu (Epic) 1989
1. Master of No Mercy"
"Controlled By Hatred / Feel Like Shit... Deja Vu" is an EP that features several re-recorded No Mercy songs, which was was Mike Clark's first band, and Mike Muir replaced No Mercy's original singer sometime in the mid-'80's. These songs are actually more typical of what Suicidal would become than "Join the Army" or the punk rock of their debut. The music here is fast, catchy thrash metal with the typical Mike Muir lyrical approach, touching on topics such as mental health, inner struggles, social issues and, of course, skateboarding. The band's image here was a mixture of gangster street thug and skates. Another cover features here is "Its Not Easy" which was originally recorded by Mike Muir's side project Los Cycos in 1985 for the "Welcome To Venice" compilation. Apparently this compilation is a sought after collector's item and worth quite a bit of money. There are two versions of "How Can I Laugh Tomorrow...", the first being a totally useless video edit versions. The "heavy emotion version" on the other hand is pretty cool and turns the song into a quasi-ballad. This was the first record to feature bassist Robert Trujillo, although for whatever reason, he is credited as "Stymee". (Robert went on to join Ozzy then later Metallica.)
Suicidal Tendencies - Lights...Camera...Revolution (Epic) 1990
1. "You Can't Bring
Me Down" (5:48)
WOW! Suicidal bring on the hardcore/thrash mosh sound with one of their most infectious discs ever. "Lights... Camera... Revolution" came along during the height of speed metal and thrash when bands like Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer were the kings of the scene, and Suicidal prove that they are no slackers either. I dare to say that any metalhead within listening distance would break forth into instant fits of moshing upon pushing play. Lyrically the band continues with their politically incorrect social messages. I honestly could have lived without all the repetitive expletives, but that's just a pet peeve with me. I realize that this was part of the whole thrash attitude of the early 90's but to me it just made people look unintelligent. Still, "Lights... Camera... Revolution" is probably my favorite Suicidal disc thus far.
Suicidal Tendencies - The Art of Rebellion (Epic) 1992
1. "Can't Stop"
This band has come a long way since their silly punk anthem days of "I Saw Your Mommy." Of course that could be because the only original member is vocalist Mike Muir. "The Art of Rebellion" is an aggressive hardcore-thrash outing, yet at the same time contains some of the most infectious melodies I have ever heard. The band just seems to have it all down. Mike's stylized vocals, killer recording, and songwriting that brings me back again and again. Gotta love it. Ok ya'll sing along, "Can't the running, can't stop the running, the runaway emotions in me..." (thanks for the disc and the memory Arttie)
Suicidal Tendencies - Still Cyco After All These Years (Epic) 1993
1. "Suicide's An Alternative"
It wasn't uncommon in the late 80's and early 90's for a thrash band to cover some punk tunes. Well, since Suicidal started off as a punk band before becoming a thrash metal band, I guess it was only natural for them to re-record their own songs. Suicidal's first album was pretty much frenzied skate punk along the lines of Black Flag. The production and performance were amateurish but they had a spark and hunger that no producer or professional musician could add. With a completely new band, who are far superior musicians I was a bit worried that the 'spark' that the original release had would be lost, especially if the band attempted to 'thrash up' these songs. However, "Still Cyco After all These Years" upholds the tradition of Suicidal Tendencies. Whether anyone likes this re-recorded version better than the original, I suppose is a matter of opinion. I personally prefer the original as that was the record I grew up listening to. However, I don't think these re-recorded versions are bad either. I actually think that the guitar sound is better here, and there is no denying that Rocky George adds his own unique style to these classic punk songs. Just check out the guitar work that lays underneath the vocals on "Institutionalized". Several other songs have blazing solos that I don't remember being on the original recording. I also think some of these songs might be a bit faster than the originals. I didn't care for the changes the band made to "I Saw Your Mommy". Muir's more melodic vocal approach doesn't seem to work as well, although it could be that I am just use to hearing the song delivered in a more punk fashion. Overall, however, "Still Cyco..." is a strong buy for any metal/punk fan.
Suicidal Tendencies - Suicidal For Life (Epic) 1994
WOW! This CD has so much swearing on it that it would make even the most vile rapper blush. What a steaming pile of crap this CD is. Totally unlistenable due to the inane lyrics. I mean, I would almost swear that the word "f**k" was repeated between just about every word. Take a look at the first few song titles. Cyco Miko couldn't even get a song title out without uttering the same expletive over and over again. How sad. Totally unlistenable garbage IMO.