Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies

The most definitive stanza in the Suicidal Tendencies catalog is at the start of the second song on their 1983 debut LP: “I'm not anti-society, society's anti-me/I'm not anti-religion, religion is anti-me/I'm not anti-tradition, tradition is anti-me/I'm not anti-anything, I just wanna be free.” Singer and band spokesman “Cyco Mike” Muir honed a brand of teenage disaffection that was specific to his corner of western Los Angeles—the border of Venice and Santa Monica, to be exact. That neighborhood’s melting pot of ethnic gangs, surf and skate cultures, and anti-authoritarian undercurrents gave birth to Suicidal Tendencies, which became a local institution. Though their debut LP is heavily rooted in Southern California hardcore, Muir refused to conform to what had by 1983 become the clichés of the style. Rather than bark uncontrollably, he included spoken-word rants, which made him sound more like an authentic teenage voice and less like a punk cartoon. Muir also put together a blistering band, including Grant Estes on guitar. His nitro-fueled solos give the hardcore formula a vitalizing dose of thrash-metal momentum.

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