Join the Army

Join the Army is the second studio album by American crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. It was released in 1987 and is one of the most well known albums for crossing over the genres of punk and thrash metal, known as crossover thrash, a genre that Suicidal Tendencies have been credited for creating. Join the Army is arguably one of Suicidal Tendencies' popular efforts, although it only reached No. 100 on the Billboard 200 chart.[2] This was their first album with guitarist Rocky George and drummer R.J. Herrera, and their last recording with bassist Louiche Mayorga (although he did co-write songs on their next album How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today). This is also the last album to feature the band playing hardcore punk.

Join the Army
Join the army ST.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 9, 1987
RecordedJanuary 1987 at Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles
ProducerLester Claypool, Suicidal Tendencies
Suicidal Tendencies chronology
Suicidal Tendencies
Join the Army
How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today
Singles from Join the Army
  1. "Possessed to Skate"
    Released: 1987

Musical styleEdit

Mike Muir used vastly different vocal techniques and range compared to their debut album (sometimes sounding similar to Lemmy from Motörhead).[citation needed] Original guitarist Grant Estes had been replaced by Jon Nelson in 1984, who was then soon replaced by Rocky George, who influenced the change of the band's sound into the thrash direction. Original drummer Amery Smith was replaced by R.J. Herrera, who used the particularly metal drum feature of double kick.

Reception and legacyEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [1]

Reviews for Join the Army have been mostly positive. AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia awards the album three stars out of five, and calls it "a transitional album in the transformation of the band's sound from hardcore punk to thrash metal."[1]

Join the Army was also the first Suicidal Tendencies album to enter the Billboard 200; it peaked at No. 100, and remained on the chart for thirteen weeks.[2] "Possessed to Skate" preceded the album's release as a single, which also had a music video created for it. The video featured old school skateboarding tricks, and as such is considered a classic visual period piece of skateboarding.[citation needed] The success of Join the Army garnered attention from major labels, including Epic Records, with whom Suicidal Tendencies would eventually sign in 1988.

"War Inside My Head" is featured in the game Guitar Hero: Metallica. "Possessed to Skate" is featured in the game Skate 2. "Suicidal Maniac" was covered by Hatebreed on their 2009 release For the Lions.

Over the years and with the involvement several line-ups, Suicidal Tendencies have recorded new versions of 10 of the 13 songs originally included in Join the Army, including two different new versions of two of those tracks: "War Inside My Head" and "A Little Each Day" (Still Cyco After All These Years); "Join the Army" and "Go Skate! (Possessed to Skate '97)" (Prime Cuts); "Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right" (Year of the Cycos); "Suicidal Maniac", "Possessed to Skate", "The Prisoner", "I Feel Your Pain... And I Survive", "Join the ST Army", "No Name, No Words", and "Born to Be Cyco" (No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family).

Track listingEdit

Side one
1."Suicidal Maniac"Rocky George, Mike Muir2:57
2."Join the Army"Louiche Mayorga, Mike Muir3:37
3."You Got, I Want"Suicidal Tendencies2:55
4."A Little Each Day"Muir4:08
5."The Prisoner"Mayorga, Muir2:53
6."War Inside My Head"Mayorga, Muir3:51
Side two
7."I Feel Your Pain"George, Muir3:27
8."Human Guinea Pig"Suicidal Tendencies2:05
9."Possessed to Skate"Mayorga, Muir2:34
10."No Name, No Words"Mayorga, Muir2:35
11."Born to Be Cyco"Mayorga, George, Muir2:13
12."Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right (But They Make Me Feel a Whole Lot Better)"George, Muir2:49
13."Looking in Your Eyes"Mayorga, Muir2:50
  • "War Inside My Head", "Human Guinea Pig", and "You Got, I Want" were originally written by previous guitarist Jon Nelson. He traded the rights for "War Inside My Head" for a Flying V guitar after he left the band.[3]
  • "Human Guinea Pig" does not appear on vinyl or cassette versions of the album.


  • Mike Muir – lead vocals
  • Louiche Mayorga – bass, backing vocals
  • Rocky George – guitars, backing vocals
  • R.J. Herrera – drums
  • Recorded and mixed at Record Plant, Los Angeles, California
  • Produced by Lester Claypool (not to be confused with Les Claypool) and Suicidal Tendencies
  • Engineered by Lester Claypool
  • Guitar and vocals recorded at Baby/O/
  • Album cover by Michael Seiff

Chart positionsEdit


Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1987 Billboard 200 100


  1. ^ a b c AllMusic review
  2. ^ a b "Join the Army - Suicidal Tendencies". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  3. ^ "Entrevista – Jon Nelson | SUICIDAL MANIAC". October 13, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2012.