Before listening to this record, I have only ever listened to a “best of record” by these guys. That impressed the hell out of me, but it’s worth noting that they definitely changed significantly over the years, and what we have here is something much, much rawer than what I was expecting.
Not surprisingly, this band is a lot closer to DRI or a band like that than they are (from memory) to the more mature version of Suicidal Tendencies. (Again, this is from memory.) This debut album is much closer to hardcore punk than I imagined it would be, but at least some of that impression is coming from having just listened to Kill’em All.
The genre of crossover thrash is some damn specific and niche that it’s hard to imagine anyone who doesn’t like hardcore punk or thrash metal would ever listen to this, but I must say that I think this is more for the punk fan than the metal fan. This is hardcore punk vocals on top of essentially thrash metal played as if it was hardcore punk (i.e. it’s kind of sloppy and faster as a result). Some of the lyrics are pretty funny in the way that so many hardcore punk lyrics are funny – they are super provocative (for their era), sociopolitical but immature and just generally very angry and snarky. “Institutionalize” in particular, makes me laugh, which probably makes me an awful person. Regardless of how sincere they were at the time, some of them make me laugh now. (Sorry.)
This record is a pretty big deal if you care about the history of metal or punk, or are interested in what preceded metalcore. But it’s definitely not for everyone.
“All I wanted was a Pepsi!”
- “Suicide’s an Alternative / You’ll Be Sorry” 2:44
- “Two Sided Politics” (written by Muir, Louiche Mayorga) 1:03
- “I Shot the Devil” 1:51
- “Subliminal” 3:08
- “Won’t Fall in Love Today” (written by Muir, Mayorga) 0:59
- “Institutionalized” (written by Muir, Mayorga) 3:49
- “Memories of Tomorrow” (written by Muir, Mayorga) 0:57
- “Possessed” 2:07
- “I Saw Your Mommy…” (written by Muir, Mayorga) 4:52
- “Fascist Pig” 1:17
- “I Want More” (written by Muir, Mayorga) 2:28
- “Suicidal Failure” 2:53
- Mike Muir – lead vocals
- Grant Estes – guitar
- Louiche Mayorga – bass, backing vocals
- Amery Smith – drums