Did you know that during the heyday of thrash metal in the eighties and early nineties that only six thrash bands earned gold records in the United States? That seems like a small number, eh? Can you name all six bands? The first four should be pretty easy. Each of “The Big Four” — Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax earned gold records. The last two bands on the list may not be so easy to name. Maybe you’re thinking of Testament, Overkill, S.O.D., or Metal Church? If so, you would be wrong! Nope, none of those bands achieved gold status. The other two bands were actually Sepultura and Suicidal Tendencies!
Mike Muir and his band of sui-psycho maniacs earned a gold record with 1990’s Lights… Camera… Revolution. The army of followers that Suicidal Tendencies amassed included skaters, surfers, punks, metal heads, and even gangbangers. Muir’s youth-in-revolt message resonated with the adolescent male mind, there’s no doubt about it. But the message never would’ve hit home had the music sucked — which, of course, it did not!
What I admire most about Suicidal Tendencies is that they had their own identity and sound. They didn’t try to copy other bands and they weren’t confined to genre norms. Yes, S.T. were hardcore motherf*ckers, but they didn’t sacrifice song craft for any of the trappings of the thrash game. They weren’t trying to be the fastest, the most “brutal, or the loudest band on the planet. Mike Muir had something to say, and the band behind was perfectly suited to back him up every step of the way. Rather than just stack up riffs like many bands of their ilk, S.T. knew how to write songs that flowed smoothly.
Faves include You Can’t Bring Me Down, Alone, Lost Again, Give It Revolution, and Send Me Your Money. My score: A-