Friday, June 11, 2010

Dusting Off a Cassette Pt. 45: Suicidal Tendencies: Join the Army

When I was just starting to get interested in music, my dad found a cassette carrying case full of tapes down by a pond at his work. After leaving it in his office for awhile waiting to see if anyone would come and claim it, he brought them home. This was in the early 1990's or so. Most of the music was of the new wave/post-punk/alternative variety. Most of the tapes just went into storage.

When I was a little older and getting into metal, I went through my parents' tapes looking for anything that would come close to my new favorite music. I only came up with one album which came in that carrying case: Suicidal Tendencies.

Suicidal Tendencies (ST from now on) was an important band in the crossover genre. The band originally played hardcore punk on their 1983 debut, with some metal influences. They did not release a follow-up album until this album was released in 1987. This album was one of the formative albums in the crossover genre with ST fusing their hardcore punk with thrash metal. The band had brought in guitarist Rocky George who was heavily influenced by groups like Motorhead and helped write much of the music on this album. The tracks therefore all have a faster metal edge to them that was missing on their debut.

This album is fast and short, featuring twelve songs and clocking in at under 40 minutes. All of the songs are aggressive, with youthful energy and lyrics about rebellion and social issues. They are usually crafted around fairly simple metal riffs and layered with some heavy bass and Mike Muir's often-shouted vocals, along with the occasional guitar solo. The songs are all very catchy, with some real hooks. It is this catchiness that keeps me coming back to the album. It's simple, but it's fast and fun.

The band would continue with these lyrical themes and musical directions for the rest of their careers. This was the album that really brought the band into the attention of metalheads and the band would continue to increase their metal influences. They are now looked back upon as one of the major bands in the crossover genre.

This is a pretty good album to listen to when I need something to get my blood pumping. Not bad at all for an abandoned tape found down by a pond.

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