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A Review of the 1987 Album "Join the Army" Good Crossover Thrash Metal

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

"Join the Army" Album Cover


How Does the Album "Join the Army" Begin?

Join the Army is the 1987 studio album by one of the most well-known bands in the crossover thrash genre that has one of the stupidest names in the history of music. The style of the album is based a lot on speed and Mike Muir’s voice is not as developed yet. The title track "Join the Army" has some blues in it so that’s something that you wouldn’t normally see from a crossover thrash metal band. The song’s message is a sort of rebellion against the status quo and accepted norms of what music should sound like. The song makes reference to hardcore metal being a sort of new wave of music that was starting to come up at that time. However, Join the Army has a punk metal and blues feel to it.

"Join the Army" Album Review Continued

"You Got, I Want" is another song in which the message is a sort of rebellion against the established status quo. Do we really need a constitution to tell us what to do? Every country needs a set of established laws and norms but some people don’t obey them. The song called “A Little Each Day” tells the story of an alcoholic’s struggle into mediocrity as they die a little each day and others can somehow feel his pain and scars. "The Prisoner" is a song that represents an interesting departure lyrically for this band. If you have not figured out which band is being discussed here it is Los Angeles California’s Suicidal Tendencies (really stupid band name). Anyhow, back to the song there. The song’s message is to not complain that life somehow isn’t fair and that how you live your life is your choice. The belief in the United States especially is that life isn’t fair and that we somehow have to deal with that circumstance. That’s a deep philosophical question or topic to debate. Life is just what it is and fairness is only an ideal situation that can perhaps never be reached. The sound of the album Join the Army has this punk and hardcore feel but in some instances I am reminded of Iron Maiden’s debut album not in terms of melodies but in the sounds of the riffs.

How Well Did Join the Army Rank on the Musical Charts?

Join the Army reached only #100 on the Billboard 200 charts. I myself really don’t think punk metal is the best but British band Acid Reign does a better job with that kind of sound and riffing.

"Join the Army" Song Only

Join the Army Has Two Cons

One thing I’d like to mention about Join the Army the title of the first song. Talk about having the most negative song title ever! The title would have been better if it had been antisocial maniac or something like that but this is a ridiculous move by one of the most popular American crossover thrash bands. And then the title track Join the Army gets sort of stale with the same title repetition.

"Human Guinea Pig"

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Join the Army: Final Thoughts About the Album

"War Inside My Head" is a song that has been popularized over the years. Sometimes life can get so hectic that it feels that we are fighting a battle with our brain and it can become painful.

My favorite song on Join the Army is the song called "Human Guinea Pig" as a laugh starts a bass line and it sounds like someone is turning on a car motor. The riffing begins as the song is basically about someone who is strapped to an operating table but he undergoes torture as they say that they are doing a science related task. Overall, Join the Army is a good punk metal kind of album but the varied vocals plus some of the riffing can get repetitive at some points but overall it is a decent album even for this Southern California 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.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian

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