10 Essential Venice Beach Songs, by Tor Nyman (Negative Self)

Beowülf, "Drink, Fight, Fuck," from Beowülf (Suicidal, 1986)

I thought long and hard if I should pick this one or "Muy Bonita," but in the end I just had to go with "Drink, Fight, Fuck." The singer, Dale, has an amazing way of throwing infectious melodies into his vocal arrangements. Also, Beowülf is probably the best band in the world (next to Obnoxious Youth) when it comes to channeling the Motörhead sound.

Excel, "Insecurity," from Split Image (Suicidal/Caroline, 1987)

Super energetic, fast-paced, awesome hardcore. Every single riff is good enough to carry a song by itself, and there's always a hook thrown into every part of the song. And, come on, how cool are the "We are Excel!" parts?

Excel, "Unenslaved," from Seeking Refuge (Malicious Vinyl/Capitol, 1995)

Excel was the perfect hardcore band in the '80s, and one of the best groove bands of the '90s. This is one of the catchiest songs of its time. I've loved it since the day I first heard it!

Suicidal Tendencies, "Alone," from Lights, Camera, Revolution (Epic, 1990)

All the songs on Lights, Camera, Revolution are so well-crafted, and that really shows in "Alone." It takes the listener on a journey through a number of musical styles and leaves you wanting more. Easily one of my all-time favorite songs!

Suicidal Tendencies, "Choosing My Own Way of Life," from Controlled by Hatred/Feel Like Shit... Déjà Vu (Epic, 1989)

I had a hard time choosing between the Suicidal Tendencies version and the original No Mercy version. This song is the ultimate proof for the importance of Mike Clark. His guitar work is simply amazing and he's a fucking riff genius.

Uncle Slam, "Hangin' in the Hood," from Will Work for Food (Restless, 1993)

"Hood is what I am inside!" How's that for an opening line? Uncle Slam has a very unique sound, I can't think of any band that sounds this way.

Evol, "Evolove," from Experiment in Fear (Self-Released, 1992)

Amazing riffs, amazing energy, amazing vocals. The chorus makes me wanna go berserk, and the way he delivers "love" in the intro is beyond cool. I could pick the entire Experiment in Fear album, it's easily one of the most overlooked albums ever.

The Boneyard Crowd, "Get Up, Get Out," from The Boneyard Crowd (Piranha, 1990 - 1995)

Gangster rap from Venice? Damn right! Featuring Milkbone from Beowülf and awesome Ric Clayton artwork. Obscure shit and really, really good.

No Mercy, "Master of No Mercy," from Widespread Bloodshed (Love Runs Red) (Suicidal, 1987)

Since I went with the Suicidal Tendencies version of "Choosing My Own Way of Life," I had to go with the No Mercy version of "Master of No Mercy." I already mentioned that Mike Clark is essential for the Suicidal sound, but I need to really make a point here. I think there should be a law stating that Mike Clark is the only one allowed to write guitar riffs. Just listen to the intro!

SEE ALSO: 2015 interview with Mike Clark (Waking the Dead, No Mercy, Suicidal Tendencies).

Cycotic Youth, "Fuck the Cops," from 1986 Demo (Self-Released, 1986)

I love the early "fastcore" bands like Cryptic Slaughter, Deep Wound, and Neon Christ. If I recall correctly, this is the same singer, Dan Brown, who later started Evol and nowadays does tattoos at the S.T. Tattoo shop.

As a bonus track, our singer Andreas picked this one:

The Brood, "Good vs. Evil," from The Brood (Profile, 1986)


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