Great Metal Albums of 1987: Suicidal Tendencies- Join the Army

After converting all my new British friends to Suicidal Tendencies in the Autumn of 1986, it was fantastic news that they put out a brand new album in 1987. I needed no encouragement to pick this album up straight away. However, I wasn’t the only one. After no new material since their 1983 debut album, many fans were beginning to give up on Suicidal Tendencies. Fortunately, they came through.

“Join the Army” immediately reminds you what you missed about Suicidal Tendencies for those four years. “Suicidal Maniac” is everything that was so great about the first album, a great hearty thrashing opener. Then they slow things down a little and go more mainstream metal with the title cut and there is nothing wrong with that. The song is a call to arms for punks and metalheads alike to put aside their differences and join together into one big army.

I don’t care about the clothes you wear

It’s the size of your heart, not the length of your hair.

What is interesting about the album is that it does seem to go back and forth between speedier, more thrash songs and more metal oriented ones for the first half. Maybe they do this so you can catch your breath. I mean after the more thrashier “You Got, I Want,” they slow it down with “A Little Each Day.” The latter is a cool track with some great riffs and a killer solo from guitarist Rocky George. At the midpoint, actually the sixth track is a song they played both times I saw them, 2017 Download and 2018 Bloodstock, “The War Inside My Head.” This is a great thrash track and I remember Mike Muir doing his little dance when they played it. This is definitely one to get a mosh pit started. It’s not only my favourite track on the album, it’s one of my favourite ST songs of all time!

Mike Muir and Co, Download 2017
ST comes on stage, Bloodstock 2018

Listening to “Join the Army” these last few days and reflecting back to younger times in 1987, I have come to the conclusion that the album was ahead of its time. While the Stormtroopers of Death might have been the first ones to call people of differing hair lengths to come together with “United Forces,” the song “Join the Army” was the one which actually got people to do it. Then there is the song about skateboarding, “Possessed to Skate.” Not only was this the single, not that it got anywhere in the charts, it is the first song I know of to be about the topic. Therefore, the likes of OPM know who they have to thank for their inspiration.

The second half of the album is more of a thrashfest reminiscent of the first album. Even the single is at Motorhead speed. Things to note: the opening riff on “I Feel Your Pain,” the sudden tempo change on “No Name, No Words,” which was another thing they did so well on the first album and “Born to be Cyco” is just two minutes and thirteen seconds of pure madness. If anyone had any doubts that this album wouldn’t be brilliant, their fears are definitely relieved with this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Suicidal Maniac
  2. Join the Army
  3. You Got, I Want
  4. A Little Each Dday
  5. The Prisoner
  6. The War Inside My Head
  7. I Feel Your Pain
  8. Human Guinea Pig
  9. Possessed to Skate
  10. No Name, No Words
  11. Born to be Cyco
  12. Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right (But They Make Me Feel a Whole Lot Better)
  13. Looking In Your Eyes
Suicidal Tendencies

Mike Muir- lead vocals

Rocky George- guitar, backing vocals

Louiche Mayorga- bass, backing vocals

R.J. Herrera- drums

I would like to think that I was solely responsible for bringing Suicidal Tendencies to Great Britain but I know it’s not the case. It doesn’t hurt to dream. I can say that I introduced them to a fair number of students at Queen Mary College in London. I wonder how many of them got this album, if not, they missed out on a brilliant one.

Next post: Joe Satriani- Not of This Earth

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7 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1987: Suicidal Tendencies- Join the Army”

  1. I struggle to get into these guys. Do you recommend a starting song

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great album, was listening to it a lot just recently. Rocky George is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s been ages since I heard these guys. I’ll use this one as a re-start.

    Liked by 1 person

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