On July 5, 1983, "Suicidal Tendencies'" self-titled debut album was released.
"Suicidal Tendencies" is one of the "founding fathers" of the crossover thrash genre (or in short crossover), which is actually a combination of metal and hardcore punk.
The band was formed in 1980 in Venice, California, more or less in the same area where "Metallica", "Slayer" and "Megadeth" would soon emerge, and was mostly influenced by Speed Metal and hardcore punk.
The band gained a fan base even before the release of their first album, mainly due to negative publicity stemming from the band's name, which drew criticism from various parent organizations. In addition, there were rumors that the band members were linked to street gangs who lived in the area. The fact that the band's bassist brother (Louiche Mayorga) was a member of one of those tough gangs in south Los Angeles only added to the band's bad name and even contributed to the bear hug that those gangs gave them.
But as we already know very well, there is no such thing as "bad publicity", and as long as people talk about you, no matter what the context, it means you exist. The controversy and talk surrounding the band's name attracted a young and frustrated audience that was only growing. Moreover, the "noise" created by the band also attracted the attention of record companies, and eventually, the band managed to obtain in 1983 a recording contract with the independent label "Frontier Records".
The band's debut album combined, as mentioned, the speed, power, and rage of Crossover and Hardcore Punk with Thrash breaks mostly in the chorus, but not only. Songs like "I Saw Your Mommy", and "Subliminal" start with relatively slow thrash riffs, and only then gain momentum and power.
The album featured the single "Institutionalized" which aired on MTV and was one of the first hardcore-punk songs on the station.
"I Shot the Devil" is a song written about Ronald Reagan and its original name was "I Shot Reagan", as you also hear in the first sentence of the song. Rumor has it that the FBI contacted the band and demanded that the song be renamed, as was actually done. At the same time, the lyrics on the inside cover of the album include the original name.
Beyond the fact that this is a pioneering and groundbreaking album in its field, its importance is mainly in the development of the thrash metal genre we are familiar with. As you may recall, the bands "Metallica", Slayer, and "Megadeth" all came from the South Los Angeles area. The bands hung out in the same clubs where "Suicidal Tendencies" performed and were undoubtedly influenced by their sound. In fact, all four members of Thrash Metal's Big Four have stated at one time or another that this album was one of their influences, an influence that can be heard in the albums released by each of the Big 4 bands, the first of which "Metallica" will release its debut album shortly thereafter...