Year 3, Day 19: The Suicide Machines – Destruction by Definition

Year 3, Day 19: The Suicide Machines – Destruction by Definition

Track List

  1. New Girl
  2. S.O.S.
  3. Break the Glass
  4. No Face
  5. Hey
  6. Our Time
  7. Too Much
  8. Islands
  9. The Real You
  10. Face Values
  11. Punk Out
  12. Vans Song
  13. Insecurities
  14. Inside/Outside
  15. Zero
  16. So Long/I Don’t Wanna Hear It*

(*I Don’t Wanna Hear It originally written and performed by Minor Threat)

About the Album

Destruction by Definition is the debut album from punk/ska band, The Suicide Machines. The album was recorded in November/December of 1995 and released in mid-May of 1996. The album was the band’s first full length album and marked their presence in the modern punk scene. The album spawned two singles, S.O.S. and No Face, with No Face peaking at number 31 on the Billboard Modern Rock tracks.

Thoughts on the Album

It seems that during the 1970’s and 1980’s punk fell into one of two categories: angsty and angry sociopathic agitators (see The Clash and The Dead Kennedys) or the escapists (see The Ramones). The Suicide Machines fall into the latter category, recalling the glory era of punk music with infusing it with touches of ska and reggae. Destruction by Definition is the debut album from The Suicide Machines. I can only characterize this album by it’s super-ultra-hyper infectiousness and it’s reckless sense of fun.

The two lead singles, S.O.S. and No Face provide some sociopolitical commentary, it’s not enough to turn the listener off. Anyway, the album opens with New Girl, arguably one of their most recognizable songs thanks to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. The track is a ska-punk hybrid that is a pretty amazing song. It has excellent skanking verses and a chorus that has a huge hook that makes you want to dance around like a fool crashing into walls. New Girl is followed up by S.O.S. a harder and more grittier ska/punk sounding track. S.O.S. is equally as energetic and raw as New Girl and is a more darker and serious song.

No Face, the second single, is the purest sounding ska song on the album. It features shout-along vocals, interlaced over an absolutely fantastic bassline and absolutely tasty keys. Along with New GirlS.O.S., and Break the Glass it is a highlight of the album. Break the Glass, is the longest track on the album and yet it barely cracks minutes. Features sped-up vocals an a chanting punk chorus, it is a typical third wave ska song. This leads into the outro: classic upstroke guitars, walking bassline, a second guitar part all played over a crashing drumbeat.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a ska staple album to add to your music collection, look no further. The Suicide Machines‘ Destruction by Definition, is a great album that cemented itself in the 1990’s mainstream punk revival. It’s just one of those albums where if you are having a lousy day, you can pop this album in an just jam out and escape your problems for awhile. The album is loud and sneering, while also proud delight that should not be overlooked.

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