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June 22, 2024

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The Suicide Machines
Destruction By Definition (Hollywood Records)

By: Alex Steininger

With the increasing popularity of ska, The Suicide Machines deserve some credit for helping bring ska to the forefront with their debut full-length album. Blending punk and ska with angry lyrics about teen life, The Suicide Machines throw all their intensity, anger, and hopes into this CD. And the end result is a collection of sixteen aggressive songs sure to get you moving.

The CD begins with "New Girl." A great mixture of punk and ska. A ska center lines the song, while the chorus quickly jumps into fierce punk aggression. Track two, "SOS," is a cry for help for society. In their down to earth style of writing lyrics, they shout out "SOS we need help," trying to bring attention to the problems facing today's society. And what better way to get your message out than with great ska guitar, powerful lyrics that everyone can understand, and a very addictive beat. "Break the Glass" has some great melodies and beats to it. The ska guitar paces the song, as the drums and bass keep the rhythm strong. Then the punk side of things slide through into the chorus and hit you hard. "Our Time," starts it out with some straight forward punk. It soon changes into a skankin' beat sure to get anyone dancing. All the while the strong messages of The Suicide Machines shines through. With each scream and snarl you understand everything they are talking about! "Too Much" kicks you hard with some melodic punk The Suicide Machines way. Half way through the song jumps into an addictive ska-punk melody and your feet start moving to the beat. Then the song closes with some more of the juicy punk that The Suicide Machines use quite well. From anger to hope there music is so powerful it sticks in the mind of the listener. Next up, "Islands," gives you plate full of their brand of melodic punk. Straight ahead. Very little ska mixed in with this song, but still some very powerful words that can only be portrayed through the aggression the punk side brings you. "Face Values" is a song everyone should hear. It's about finding yourself and being yourself. Don't copy anyone else. Stick to what you believe in, what you are, and life will eventually show you the light. Schools should require the listening of this song. It's that good. And the skankin' beats lined all through the song will get you dancing and feeling good, and fill you with hope. Track thirteen, "Insecurities," starts out with some punk mixed with snarling vocals. The drums are working overtime, and the cymbals are getting quite a lot of use. The bass is jumping up and down throwing it's power at you, and the guitar is cranking out those fast paced licks that only punk can offer. Near the end they even give you some quick, juicy, delightful ska. "So Long," the sixteenth and final track, starts out with some very gentle guitar. The drums and bass play along, as a real soft side of The Suicide Machines comes through. The band picks up a little, and the heavy bass line quickly tells the band to jump into everything hard. Then the bass and guitars fade out and the vocals and drums go on with everything. The rest of the band comes back on and everything is pulled together nicely. Then they throw in some ska, and your hooked. The bass and guitar fades out again, and the pattern is continued so you will fall deeper and deeper into their webs. The song fades away, and an extra song quickly comes on! Seventeen songs, sixteen tracks, you can't go wrong!

Not since Operation Ivy has someone dished up a platter of political ska-punk like this! Although not quite as good as Operation Ivy, who is? From their angry screams to their desperate pleas for help The Suicide Machines serve up some tasty ska-punk perfectly marinated in their views and takes on society. This album should be required listening to all teenagers. A definite A+! Get this album, and I guarantee you will enjoy it!

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