Verbal Abuse was started in Houston, Texas in 1981 after singer and songwriter Nicki Sicki quit the band Sick Pleasure and moved to Virginia, then back to Texas when he decided he wanted to start another band.
At the time, not many bands were playing fast hardcore in Texas and, like D.R.I. and M.D.C. before them, Verbal Abuse relocated to San Francisco in the end of 1981.
In San Francisco, Verbal Abuse lived at the infamous "Vats" along with members of The Dicks and M.D.C. as well as Harley Flanagan from the Cro-Mags. By the end of the year, they had signed with Fowl Records and recorded their first LP, Just an American Band which was released in the beginning of 1983.
The band then embarked on a tour to promote their first album, but Brett Dodwell soon left Verbal Abuse to join the army, so Sicki asked former Sick Pleasure bandmate Dave "Koko" Chavez to take his place. However, hardcore was starting to wane in popularity and crossover thrash was the "big thing" in the mid-'80s so Nicki quit the band in 1984.
In 1996, the band received recognition and newfound interest when thrash metal legends Slayer covered five of their songs on their Undisputed Attitude record. The songs covered are "Disintegration", "Free Money", "Verbal Abuse", "Leeches" and "I Hate You".
Nicki Sicki, having been released from prison, and with money from the Slayer album royalties, brought the band back together in the 21st century.