As incongruous as a low fitting bandana and baggy clothing is to my vision of a punk aesthetic and as much a victim I am to my sense of aesthetic, the limitless ferocity of Suicidal Tendencies punk rock overcame any prejudice I could muster. Bucking that prejudice has become a hallmark of the band through their various line-ups and controversies. A rabid fan base following them for nearly 30 years and a sprinkling of pop-culture influence are a testament to their musical relevance.
Since 1980 with the perquisite hiatuses and break-ups thrown in Suicidal Tendencies has been making music. (12 studio albums, the newest just released, Get Your Fight On!) Mike Muir, the vocalist, is the only original member left. His lyricism through wit, humor, and self-awareness built a stable of songs deserving of Banger status but only one could rise. 12 years after the founding of the band, during their second comeback, they released Freedumb (1999). And upon it lay a song for the ages.
(A song so legendary that none other than Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater should feature it on its perfect soundtrack)
This week’s banger is “Cyco Vision.” I eschewed “Institutionalized” because of its popularity, instead choosing its first cousin. “It doesn’t matter what you say (Bullshit!) It only matters what you do (No shit!)” embodies the various oppositional concepts the song presents. It is a constant this or that structure that bounces to the speed of the song. Like “Institutionalized” it focuses more on the internal and the plight of being who you are. But all that angst is wrapped in some of the most pure punk riffs that you’ll hear.