Excel - The Joke's on You (Cover Artwork)


Excel: The Joke's on YouThe Joke's on You (1989)

Reviewer Rating: 4.5

Contributed by: Alex101Alex101
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Although lots of people have never heard of Excel, the now-defunct act is generally regarded as one of first crossover thrash bands to come out of Venice, California, along with their hometown hometown heroes Suicidal Tendencies, Beowülf and Uncle Slam, just to name a few. Released two years aft.
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Although lots of people have never heard of Excel, the now-defunct act is generally regarded as one of first crossover thrash bands to come out of Venice, California, along with their hometown hometown heroes Suicidal Tendencies, Beow├╝lf and Uncle Slam, just to name a few.

Released two years after their 1987 debut Split Image, Excel showed a great deal of their genre with their sophomore album The Joke's on You, which was a moderate success. Some hailed it as the best "thrash punk" album not known by many. I was born in 1989, the year this album came out and I could honestly tell that it's hard to believe to believe that crossover thrash has still been quite popular for about over 20 years.

Well, if you're a fan of punk or thrash, I'm sure you're gonna enjoy this, but it's just too bad their albums, including The Joke's on You, are now so difficult to find. "Drive," "Shadow Winds," "Fired (You're a Fine Girl)," "Tapping Into Emotional Void" and "My Thoughts" are classics as well the Police cover "Message in a Bottle." In "Tapping Into Emotional Void," vocalist Dan Clements spits out lyrics like "I base my life like a raging flame of events that seem all to much the same / And I'm aware of my behavior / Have I realized that I'm my own savior?" and later "I ran away from my fears, I will not cry any tears / you might see that I'm right / that dream might be in sight." That song also has the resounding chorus of simply repeating the word "tapping."

The Joke's on You is a classic in any way you can (or can't) imagine. A little fast. Some shitty songs. Some decent songs. Some filler. While not sounding too drastically different from the first album, Split Image, these songs contain lethal doses of "groove" and "boogie." It's still metallic and very hard, but it's also definitely a more mature sound. These guys are all seriously talented musicians, and Randy Burns' production was spot on as always.

As a side note, you can also hear guitarist Adam Siegel's work in Infectious Grooves, which featured Suicidal Tendencies members Mike Muir and Robert Trujillo.

Again, you must own The Joke's on You. Excel's best, it's definitely a record worth owning and listening to repeatedly.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (June 4, 2007)

I like this band.

Anonymous (June 4, 2007)

i got this tape free with my subscription to thrasher back in, i guess it must have been '89. still a great album. "seeing insane" was one of the first things i ever wanted to learn on guitar. this review sounds like it was written by a 17 year old though. oh, wait...

this album and their first were re-issued by rotten records with tons of bonus tracks a few years ago and should be easily available.

and who said beowulf weren't that great? their first 2 albums are awesome. great mix of suicidal, motorhead, and "kill 'em all" era metallica. those 2 albums were just re-released on i scream records. now we just need a no mercy re-issue.

but all this shit is essential if you're a big fan of suicidal or crossover/thrash stuff.

Anonymous (June 2, 2007)

hamster up your butt .....mod?!?!?

Anonymous (June 2, 2007)

beuwulf was not that great. not down with the skate crew and thrash heads. but early suicidal and all of dri still kills. now we got what happens next and scholastic deth all day and night.

Anonymous (June 2, 2007)

The cover looks like Gillianimation.

Anonymous (June 2, 2007)

I think this was the Excel record I used to have on tape. Damn, I hadn't heard their stuff in a long time.

Ianw (June 1, 2007)

Fuck yeah thraaaaaash!

SilentStorms (June 1, 2007)

Agreed, if some songs are filler and shitty, it shouldn't get more than a 3.5. That really makes me question the reviewer. Pass.

feeeding5000 (June 1, 2007)

Yeah Beowulf is amazing. So is this like thrash or is it Motorhead-y, because I didn't really get a sense of either from the review. Also, is there a reissue/cd available?

Anonymous (June 1, 2007)

this is definitely a classic record.

Anonymous (June 1, 2007)

"Some shitty songs. Some decent songs. Some filler."

So this record contains some shitty songs and some filler and yet it's still worth 4 1/2 stars?

Anonymous (June 1, 2007)

i still skate to these guys every weekend. all the kids dont understand. hey, you know..... thanks tony hawk for including some super rad thrash on a video game.

Anonymous (June 1, 2007)

I love all those old Venice bands! My favorite is still BEOW├?LF's "Unsentimental" album. Ah, and the "Welcome To Venice" compilation is still the record I'm most proud of to own.

GlassPipeMurder (May 31, 2007)

I tried to install Excel on my computer for Stat class and the motherfucker failed!! I want my money back!!

Score is for the band, though I've never heard them. At least they don't have anything to do with Microsoft.

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