ALBUM OF THE DAY: SUICIDAL TENDENCIES’ CONTROLLED BY HATRED
Suicidal Tendencies’ 1983 self-titled debut album is universally regarded as an absolute classic. And rightly so — it’s without question one of the definitive 80s hardcore records, and required listening for any would-be fan of the genre. It’s fucking untouchable; anybody who says otherwise is your enemy and you should punch them in the face immediately. But it’s not the only classic in the Suicidal catalog: my pick for the most underrated gem in their career is 1988’s Controlled By Hatred/Feel Like Shit/Deja Vu EP.
“Master of No Mercy” is my all-time favorite Suicidal song, yet in all the many times I’ve seen them they’ve never played it :(
In the wake of 1987’s How Will I Laugh Tomorrow LP, many thought the band had completely walked away from hardcore in favor of a much more polished thrash sound (like DRI, Cro-Mags, and so many other former hardcore bands were doing). While that was mostly true, I like to think of the Controlled by Hatred EP as the perfect blend of hardcore and thrash, a crossover masterpiece that’s tragically underappreciated these days. Most of the songs on this album are re-recorded versions of tracks from the also-excellent No Mercy LP, featuring Suicidal guitarist Mike Clark and vocalist Mike Muir (who we will refer to from here on out as Cyco Miko). It’s rounded out by a couple other tracks that I guess were outtakes and b-sides or something.
I remember walking around some shitty Indian reservation outside of Seattle when I was 13 or 14, listening to this song on my Walkman and getting super pissed off at my parents, teachers, and jocks
Kind of like Anthrax’s cover of Discharge “Protest And Survive,” Garage Days, or that Slayer covers album, the material on Controlled by Hatred is awesome because they are pissed-off hardcore songs, only they’re recorded by guys who actually know how to play their instruments and had a few bucks to spend on production. It’s the kind of thing that all the nu-thrash bands try to capture, except that it’s not phony, contrived and embarrassing like they are.
The video for “Waking The Dead” is cheesy and awesome in a way that only 80s crossover can be. I’m guessing this is part of what Varg was talking about when he complained about 80s metal bands “wearing jogging suits and riding skateboards”– I totally covet RJ Herrera’s crucial “VENICE” sweatpants!!
I could write pages and pages about all the other reasons Suicidal are awesome (for example, inventing thugcore — I wonder why Rocky George always wore black and gold??? Must be a big Pirates fan lol), but for now I’ll leave you to digest this album. If you thought Suicidal only had one good record, think again — Controlled by Hatred is raging!