Suicidal Tendencies


Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the pinnacle of punk rock. Behold.

If you were lucky enough to discover that in junior high school, then Mike Muir was screaming directly from your subconscious. Clearly, the song has been rehearsed, yet Muir maintains an extemporaneous voice that makes it feel like every listen is the first. I don’t have words to describe the importance of this song. It’s Biblical. It is in my DNA. It cannot be surpassed.

Here’s the “when the fuck does he breathe” song:

I can’t even read the words as fast as Muir sings them. By successfully expressing these emotions in musical form, Suicidal Tendencies proved the importance and power of punk rock. I will never forget how it felt to hear “Institutionalized” on that news program. It was like a secret message transmitted from another dimension, telling me I wasn’t alone in my “feelings”. “Feelings” used to mean emotions that grabbed hold of you and took control. Now it’s some twerp crying about Han Solo, or kids who mistake their hormonal confusions for character.

The third part of the Holy Trinity of Suicidal Tendencies is undoubtedly “I Saw Your Mommy And Your Mommy’s Dead”. This is a great song, and we all adore it, so I’m going to take a lateral step and post an equally great song from another seminal hardcore band, also about corpses. Death and necrophilia were common motifs in 1980s hardcore punk, and with good reason; they are often disgustingly hilarious. Here’s a brilliant example: T.S.O.L.’s “Code Blue”.

Who’d have thought corpse-fucking could be so catchy? T.S.O.L. was an influence on Suicidal Tendencies, as were The Germs, home of the late horse enthusiast Darby Crash, and future Foo Fighter Pat Smear. Pat Smear is so influential you forget his name is a pun. Darby Crash was some kind of lunatic goblin conjured into being as the ultimate punk vocalist. The Germs sounded like a pack of snarling bobcats turned loose on a studio full of guitars and smack.

I can’t understand a word of it, but I love it. I can’t keep my head still while hearing it. Maybe that’s conditioning from a youth of live punk shows, or maybe it’s the undeniable pull of the song. I’d put money on the latter.

I have a scar from a mosh pit, you kids. I know whereof I’m speaking.

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