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Suicidal Tendencies - Suicidal Tendencies (Cover Artwork)

Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies: Suicidal TendenciesSuicidal Tendencies (1983)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


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

It has been 25 years since something interesting happened in the year of 1983. It was Suicidal Tendencies when they launched into the Venice, California punk/metal scene with their classic self-titled debut album. Take the sound of Black Flag, add a dash of Minor Threat attitude and finish it up .
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It has been 25 years since something interesting happened in the year of 1983. It was Suicidal Tendencies when they launched into the Venice, California punk/metal scene with their classic self-titled debut album.

Take the sound of Black Flag, add a dash of Minor Threat attitude and finish it up with dashes of Bad Brains, Anthrax, and Stormtroopers of Death and chances are you'll end up with this band: Suicidal Tendencies. You could describe this, their first album, as a collection of noisy, angsty hardcore but you'd be missing something. This record just has that special something though it is not solid and established. It may be the dark humor the band shows to have in songs like the cry of insanity, "Institutionalized," and the hopeless yet hilarious "Suicidal Failure," or maybe the obvious fact that it's thrash-influenced, but I guess that all depends on the listener.

The overall sound? Well, as mentioned before, it has the sound and attitude of most groundbreaking hardcore acts (along with the 'nothing special' vocals that symbolize the hopelessness of a generation) with hints of Anthrax shown in various shredded guitar solos in some songs like "Suicidal Failure" when the bridge kicks in and Grant Estes busts a wicked fast solo. The record's tempo is also not monotonous. In one song, the band can go from playing mid-tempo My War-era Black Flag influenced punk to playing insanely fast Minor Threat tempo songs.

One could argue that it's not the sound that made this album a timeless crossover classic, but rather the attitude. As said before, Suicidal Tendencies manages to express their 'suicidal tendencies' and other dark and depressing topics and mix them with comedy in such a way that you are not left with an album made by a bunch of angsty emo pansies (I mean, how can you look at the cover and not find it the least bit comedic?). The utter genius of this combination can be seen in lyrics of songs like "Institutionalized" ("They say they're gonna fix my pain / alleviate my suffering and my pain / but by the time they fix my head / mentally I'll be dead"), "I Saw Your Mommy…" ("I saw your mommy and your mommy's dead / I saw her lying in a pool of red / I think it's the greatest thing I'll ever see / Your dead mommy lying in front of me") and "Suicidal Failure" ("I'm a suicidal failure / I've got to get some help / I have suicidal tendencies / But I can't kill myself"). The album also doesn't stray too far from the political focus of hardcore with songs like "I Shot the Devil" (originally titled "I Shot Reagan") and "Fascist Pig."

Suffice it to say, this album is a classic of its time, filled with emotion, comedy and all the ingredients that would give this album an even more developed character than most found in a crossover record. I recommend it to any fan of hardcore, any of its derivative forms, and thrash metal. And if you think this was a great album, you've still got more to hear.

Like Circle Jerks' Group Sex, Bad Religion's Suffer, Black Flag's Damaged, and the Adolescents' self-titled album, Suicidal Tendencies is essential hardcore punk listening...a true punk classic and a right of passage.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Operation Ivy - Operation IvyNOFX - Punk In DrublicMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyBad Religion - SufferMetallica - Kill 'Em AllMetallica - Ride the LightningBad Brains - Bad BrainsMetallica - Master of PuppetsAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseBlack Flag - Damaged

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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.
ChelloveckSkunk (March 18, 2008)

not a bad album, definitely a fan.

Ianw (March 13, 2008)

tite album

nocigar (March 13, 2008)

Hey_Asshole - are you saying you usually disagree with me? haha i never knew that, oh well a lot of people tend to. At least we come to a clear agreement on this one.

Redscare (March 13, 2008)

Infectious Grooves!

aa540 (March 13, 2008)

Nope....this is one of the greatest punk records of all time if you ask me...... and no one did. I love ST....one of the all time greats.

HonestAbe (March 12, 2008)

however, this is their only good album, but the whole thing is golden

HonestAbe (March 12, 2008)

the last poster is an idiot

one of my favorite albums of all time

osloboditelj (March 12, 2008)

Institutionalized is really the only particularly good thing this band did.

Hey_Asshole (March 12, 2008)

i never thought i would say this in all the years i have been reading this site...but, i agree with nocigar

sugarfull (March 11, 2008)

Why the fuck are Stormtroopers of Death even mentioned in this review?

nocigar (March 11, 2008)

yep this is a classic alright, a classic pile of poorly polished turds.

alex101 (March 11, 2008)

the_ghost_of_el_duce, I agree that this is a classic album, but yes it was released on Frontier first before Epitaph re-released it in 1997.

Hey_Asshole (March 11, 2008)

i hate those goddamn Suicidal hats. some kid was wearing one at NOFX on friday with the bill flipped up and everything.

i really wanted to hit him in the face with a blunt object

lushj (March 11, 2008)

It's on Frontier.

lushj (March 11, 2008)

This is a great record. Just slightly metal, but all kindsa hardcore. The best part of the music is that it's really varied- some fast, some slow, breakdowns in weird places, etc.

The lyrics are perfect for pissed off disgruntled teens- "Institutionalized" epitomized my fears of not being taken seriously by adults when I was a teen.

I was SUPER excited when "Join The Army" came out after this. I was so disgusted I returned it the next day. This band became atrocious metal-funk after this record. Even their crossover stuff was crap next to decent crossover stuff like DRI "Dealing with It" & COC "Technocracy.

NotPatriotic (March 11, 2008)

This album definitely did not come out on Epitaph.
I don't really like this band but goddamn they must have made a lot of money, those hats, damn those hats. Someone was wearing one last night at the Agent Orange / MDC show.

wallofyouth (March 11, 2008)

DrGunn, i could see that being the case -- interesting theory. so much of the later work is the exact opposite of astute and nuanced, though...

hmm

Trauma16 (March 11, 2008)

All i wanted was a pepsi.

Great disc.

spec (March 11, 2008)

Great record. They never came close to this again.

HOISTDATRAG (March 11, 2008)

suicyco mothafucka

DrGunn (March 11, 2008)

i fucking love this record.

though recently i have started to develop a theory that this is not actually a hardcore punk record, but an incredibly accurate, astute parody of a hardcore punk record. there's something so over-the-top and (seemingly intentionally) silly about it that i can't help wonder if their tongues were not collectively in their cheeks.

Hey_Asshole (March 11, 2008)

sorry...the proper incorrect spelling of "psycho" used by this band is "cyco"

which makes even less sense.

Hey_Asshole (March 11, 2008)

it would be great is ST could have written a fucking record without making about 7 million references to being "suicidal", joining the "suicidal army", of being "syco."

this band sucked...then they turned funk metal and sucked even worse.

fuck this band

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