Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
A Look Back at Suicidal for Life by Suicidal Tendencies
There are calendar years that are or should be considered the best for musicians and/or singers, and 1994 was the best year for American crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies—and for the band's vocalist, Mike Muir.
The band's album that year was called Suicidal for Life. The album’s title is way over the top and there is too much profanity in the album’s lyrical content, which will take the album’s score down considerably. 1994 was the best year for Mike Muir as well because this is the year that his voice may have been at his best range. In terms of the history of heavy metal in the United States, Mike Muir isn’t just your average standard metal vocalist. He could use his voice to do a good low voice and he could sing the hardcore style as well.
This studio album by this band has one of the most controversial titles in the history of crossover metal, but as for the songs? They are still good. In this article, we'll take a look at the vocal style of Mike Muir and analyze this band’s 1994 studio album, which is probably the band’s strongest studio album of the 1990s.
The album lyrically is a rebellion against established social norms and the status quo. Sometimes it gets to the point that we cannot take anymore nonsense from anyone.
Note: Sometimes as writers we have to find a different angle to write from when the content of a certain album is objectionable and questionable. The band’s use of questionable lyrics is their biggest problem, and as a fan of the metal genre, I don’t really understand why they did this.
A Review of a Very Controversial Studio Album and Mike Muir's Vocal Abilities
“What Else Could I Do” starts heavy with some intense drumming before it slows down. The song at the end beautifully says how bad feelings have the potential to have very detrimental effects on our health. “What You Need’s a Friend” is a humorous song about the kind of friends that we should not have. These kinds of friends are the energy vampires that leech off of us and drain our vibration energies. “I Wouldn’t Mind” is one of the best songs in the band’s career and it has some excellent fills by drummer Jimmy Degrasso.
The song “Evil” sees the vocals getting even lower pitched, even though the song may get annoying for some fans to handle. “Love Vs. Loneliness” may be the softest song in an album that has seen so much heaviness and profanity-laced lyrics. How can you attract love into your life if you think that you are not worth anything? How can you demand respect when you don’t respect others? These and other questions are what this song asks.
1994 was a long time ago for some of us, but if we analyze the larger context of that year for American metal, it was still pretty good even though other American bands, such as Metallica and Megadeth, were experimenting musically. Mike Muir and his band members were still sticking to their roots and writing effective songs about society, love, and relationships. 1994 was the best year for the band Suicidal Tendencies and Mike Muir as a whole, and he shows that he is a decent vocalist for the heavy metal genre and American heavy metal in general.
Even if 1994 was the best year vocally for Mike Muir, this album did not sell very well at all. On the Billboard 200 music charts, the album only reached #82. Even though the songwriting on this album is good for the most part, what really lowers the score for the album is the incessant profanity that is used. It is one thing to have aggressive music, but what point is served by having so much profane lyrics in one album?
Best songs in the album Suicidal for Life
- No F**** Problem
- What Else Could I Do?
- Love Vs. Loneliness
"I Wouldn't Mind"
For what it is worth, the album with this kind of controversial title has humor, good sharp riffs, and a nothing-to-lose kind of attitude. Playing bass guitar on this album is Robert Trujillo, the man that would end up joining Metallica. It just feels like the band went off the edge with craziness and decided to create an album that wouldn’t be commercially successful or appeal to some fans. If the objective was to create an album that is filled with anger, rage, and lack of appeal for some fans, then this band accomplished that goal. This album is actually the best from this Southern California crossover thrash metal band.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Ara Vahanian