Every generation seems to have a band or scene that best exemplifies the youth’s culture, attitude, and overall interpretation of the world. For Generation X, that band is Suicidal Tendencies. In 1983, Suicidal Tendencies made a name for themselves with the release of their self-titled debut. From the very first song on the album you could tell that this was a band with a message, and that message being “we’re the youth; we’re lost, misunderstood, and pissed off”. Vocalist Mike Muir (Cyco Miko) more or less vents throughout this album, ranting about everything from his disgust towards politicians to being misunderstood by parents and other authority figures. In many songs this is done with either a sense of humor or hysteria, as if he is summarizing the various feelings associated with being of misled youth.
Although, it isn’t just lyrical content that makes Suicidal Tendencies stand out from the herd. Muir was also backed up by a talented group of musicians that were able to craft a unique sound. The debut was largely a hardcore punk album, but unlike most hardcore bands of the era these guys demonstrated more than just “functional” musicianship. The guitar work tended to stand out the most with many of the riffs bearing resemblance to early surf rock. The musicianship only improved with future releases such as “Join the Army” (1987), “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today” (1988), and of course, “Lights…Camera…Revolution!” (1990). These albums showed the band adopting more thrash metal influences and they remain classic records for the crossover thrash movement. And speaking personally, “Lights…Camera…Revolution!” is one of the few albums that receives a perfect 10/10 in my book.
Roughly 30 years after the inception of the band, Mike Muir remains the only original member. Yet, he has recruited extremely talented musicians and, as many of you already know, they released the album “13” earlier this year. This well executed effort just goes to show that there is still a future for the legendary band and that there may be more Suicidal Tendencies down the road in which we can look forward to.