Forgotten Album of the Month: Suicide Machines
When Suicide Machines’ major-label debut, Destruction by Definition was released in 1996, it was a gigantic slap in the face to all of the ‘punk’ that was out at the moment. By going back and doing things so quickly and efficiently, the band was able to prove to people that you could still play loud, fast, aggressive punk and it can reach an audience.
Opening with the furious double assault of “New Girl” and “S.O.S.,” the band immediately made an impression with how fast and quick the material was. Even better, the melodies were all there and it didn’t matter if you weren’t into punk because you could hear how melodic and powerful the songs were even through the screaming.
One of the record and the band’s greatest strengths was drummer Derek Grant; before he toned his style down to suit the music of his new band Alkaline Trio, Grant was an absolute powerhouse who could pound the shit out of everything around him but yet still bring it back to the core of the song.
The album’s absolute centerpiece in my opinion is “Vans Song,” an ode to shoes but also a diss at people more concerned with image than comfort. Containing one of the best lines in punk history, “I don’t give a shit about you stupid motherfuckers,” it’s one of the best punk songs ever and will continue to live on.
Though the band continued to change over the years, from trying to top this record with the speed and quickness of 1998’s lackluster Battle Hymns to the politico/back to basics sound of their farewell, War Profiteering is Killing Us All, the band would never come close to topping this one and it’s quite a record to leave as a legacy.