Back in the day, thrash metal was a vital part of the metal underground, respected for its speed and ferocity. But if we’re being perfectly honest, these days thrash makes up much of metal’s mainstream, with fans of acts like Slayer, Testament, and Overkill having grown up, gotten jobs, and permeated society at large. A perfect example of this was a recent episode of Karate Kid spin-off TV show Cobra Kai, in which a character gives a shout-out to Exodus‘ legendary debut Bonded By Blood.
In the episode “Party Time” in the show’s most recent fourth season, character Ray, AKA Stingray, comes sauntering out of his house to get the paper and hollers a “Good morning” at his neighbor Greg.
“No! It isn’t!” shouts Greg. “Do you know why? Because some freeloader was blaring shitty Metallica all night!”
“Yeah, that was actually Exodus’ Bonded by Blood,” corrects Ray. “But it’s not your fault, you don’t know the genre.”
The reference didn’t escape Exodus guitarist Gary Holt, who posted the following to his Instagram:
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Congrats to Exodus on being one of the most widely-recognized bands in the genre — finally.
While Exodus have remained somewhat subterranean over the years — at least to mainstream metal fans — they were one of the most vital bands during thrash’s development in the Bay Area in the ’80s. That said, Holt doesn’t see them as a band who’s ever been ripped off — only that the whole scene borrowed from itself.
“I think there’s an incestuous love between all the early thrash bands,” said Holt in his recent interview with The Pit. “We all have a distinct flavor that’s uniquely our own, but we’re all big fans of each other. I think if you went in and mathematically analyzed any of the bands, you’d find bits and pieces from each other. But we all put our own stank on it!”
Words by Chris Krovatin