The Suicide Machines – Revolution Spring Review by Mike Wilson
The Suicide Machines are a 4 piece band from Detroit, Michigan, USA and they play punk/ska/hardcore music. This band has a history that spans decades and I could spend paragraphs on what came before this but I’d rather just get to the music.
The new album “Revolution Spring” was released on the 27th of March 2020. It is the band’s seventh album but also the first new music we’ve heard from the band since 2005’s “War Profiteering Is Killing Us.” The album was recorded at Rancho Recordo, the studio ran by Marc Jacob Hudson, who also plays bass for Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers.
The opening track “Bully in Blue” (2:11) is a typical high energy skatepunk song with hardcore elements like shouty gang vocals in the chorus parts, the song also has a cool breakdown. Lyrically this song rallies against police brutality. Next up is “Awkward Always” (2:35), it was the first single lifted from the album and was released on the 30th of January 2020. On the album this song introduces the ska-punk sound the band does so well, it’s got a great bass line running through the verse parts, a catchy chorus and a cool breakdown.
I really enjoyed the eerie ska vibes in track 3 “Babylon of Ours” (2:35), its a well-written ska/punk style song with some great bass fills and an awesome breakdown, is that an organ I hear? … this song has a solid intro as does track 4 “Flint Hostage Crisis” (1:42) which is also a ska/punk number, the verse parts are more dirty ska/reggae and the chorus parts have hardcore vibes. Lyrically this song addresses the lack of clean water in that city.
“To Play Caesar (Is To Be Stabbed To Death)” Official Music Video
Track 6 “Trapped in a Bomb” (2:06) is a perfect example of 90’s melodic skatepunk, its got a nice intro and a great bass line running through the verse parts. The lyrics have a personal feel rather than a political one but it will probably have you singing along before the end, it certainly got me. The next track “Detroit is the New Miami” (1:34) is a straight-up hardcore song with gang-style shouty vocals and its lyrics address global warming.
Track 8 “Eternal Contratian” (2:11) is a skatepunk/pop-punk song, the bass intro is cool and I’m a fan of pick slides which is how the guitar enters. The verse parts to this song have vocals pausing at the end of each line and giving the music a chance to shine. It’s a similar thing on track 13 “Potter’s Song” (1:41) but that one has ska elements.
Track 9 “Well Whiskey Wishes” (2:23) is another great skatepunk style song with a great tempo change and a ska-punk style breakdown complete with horns, I really liked the horn parts scattered around the second half of the album, check it out for yourself on tracks 14 “Simple” (3:04) and 16 “Cheers to Ya” (2:50). There are also some great riffy bits on offer here, like the chorus on track 10 “Black Tar Halo” (1:21).
The Suicide Machines put out a fantastic record that features 16 tracks with a runtime of around 34 minutes. It will appeal to fans of the band and serves up a great mixture of hardcore, punk, and ska with lyrical content in both personal and political flavours. If your new to this band its a great starting point.
The Suicide Machines Links
Revolution Spring is out now through the iconic Fat Wreck Chords. Link – https://fatwreck.com/
Bandcamp Link: http://thesuicidemachines.bandcamp.com/album/revolution-spring