Suicidal Tendencies

Judging from their name, Suicidal Tendencies were never afraid of a little controversy. Formed in Venice, CA, during the early '80s, the group's leader from the beginning was outspoken vocalist Mike Muir. The outfit specialized in vicious hardcore early on -- building a huge following among skateboarders, lending a major hand in the creation of skatepunk -- before turning their focus eventually to thrash metal. Early on, the group (whose original lineup included Muir, guitarist Grant Estes, bassist Louiche Mayorga, and drummer Amery Smith) found it increasingly difficult to book shows, due to rumors of its members' affiliation with local gangs and consistent violence at their performances. The underground buzz regarding Suicidal Tendencies grew too loud for labels to ignore though, as the quartet signed on with the indie label Frontier; issuing Muir and company's classic self-titled debut in 1983. The album quickly became the best-selling hardcore album up to that point; its best-known track, "Institutionalized," was one of the first hardcore punk videos to receive substantial airplay on MTV, and was eventually used in the Emilio Estevez cult classic movie Repo Man, as well as in an episode for the hit TV show Miami Vice (for which the group made a cameo appearance).