TSOL (1979–PRESENT). Metal lineup: Joe Wood (vocals), Marshall Rohner (guitar), Mike Roche (bass), Mitch Green (drums).
TSOL (True Sounds of Liberty) were one of the best and most violent of the Southern California hardcore bands of the early eighties. The original lineup featured vocalist Jack Grisham, bassist Mike Roche, guitarist Ron Emory, and drummer Mitch Todd Barnes. They played a successful balance of punk and what would eventually be called goth. The band was a success, but by the late eighties TSOL had gone through almost an entire turnover in members and by the time of Revenge, the band had reinvented itself as a Sunset Strip type metal band with the appropriate long hair, scarves, and metal paraphernalia.
After befriending Guns N’ Roses the band completely transformed their music from dark punk to blues-based glam metal. The trouble was that TSOL was a very good punk band, but not a very convincing metal band. While many punk bands were also trying to cash in on the new metal scene, most of the metal fans who liked punk were more into the new thrash scene of Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth, bands who had grown up listening to TSOL.
The band eventually broke up, but when the reunited original lineup started touring, they were faced with legal action by the band’s last vocalist, Joe Wood, who still owned the legal rights to the band name. After touring under a variety of pseudonyms, the band was finally allowed to tour as TSOL (or True Sounds of Liberty) in 1999. The band broke up seemingseemingly for good in 2007, but the ex-metal members may want to try again—why not?
Discography: T.S.O.L. [EP] (Posh Boy, 1981); Dance with Me (Frontier, 1981; Epitaph, 1996); Weathered Statues [EP7] (Alternative Tentacles, 1982); Beneath the Shadows (Alternative Tentacles, 1982; Restless, 1989; Nitro, 1997); Change Today? (Enigma, 1984; Restless, 1997); Revenge (Enigma, 1986; Restless, 1997); Hit and Run (Enigma, 1987; Restless, 1997); Thoughts of Yesterday 1981–1982 (Posh Boy, 1988; Rhino, 1992); TSOL Live (Restless, 1988); Strange Love (Enigma, 1990; Restless, 1997); Hell and Back Together 1984–1990 (Restless, 1992); T.S.O.L./Weathered Statues (Nitro, 1997); Live ’91 (Nitro, 1997); Disappear (Nitro, 2001); Divided We Stand (Nitro, 2003); Who’s Screwin’ Who?: 18 TSOL Greatest Non-Hits (Anarchy, 2005); TSOL/Slayer: Abolish Government EP 7 (Sub Pop, 1996); Cathedral of Tears: Cathedral of Tears EP (Enigma, 1984); Tender Fury: Tender Fury (Posh Boy, 1988); Garden of Evil (Triple X, 1990); If Anger Were Soul, I’d Be James Brown (Triple X, 1991); Jack Grisham/Mike Roche/Ron Emory/Todd Barnes: Live 1991 (Triple X, 1991); Joykiller: The Joykiller (Epitaph, 1995); Static (Epitaph, 1996); Three (Epitaph, 1997); Ready Sexed Go! (Epitaph, 2003).