Reviews The Suicide Machines Revolution Spring

The Suicide Machines

Revolution Spring

Me: The Suicide Machines got really angry.

[Looks at news coming out of Michigan.]

Me: Oh, yeah. They should be.

Flint’s waters crisis, militias, the widespread issues of race, violence and inequality across the US…

Sure, this is 1990s-styled ska-punk. But it’s not your dance party, silly costume ska-punk. Much like Battle Hymns of 1998, Revolution Spring is angry and political. I kind of hate that descriptor (because everything is political), but The Suicide Machines take a firm stance on each of the 16 songs on their return-to-action record – their first new record since 2005.

There are songs about poisoned water, dishonest politicians and general hardship. The record opens with “Bully in Blue,” about police brutality and it seethes and cycles from there. While the dominant theme is one of anger, there are positive and uplifting moments too. The backbeat in “Impossible Impossibilities” is the perfect tone for the uplifting message of “Can you imagine what this could become / With hope and love and a little communication?”

The record slowly builds from the pit of frustration, to taking a stance, and finally looking at the bright side in life. Much like a film script, there is a first, second and third act at play on Revolution Spring. “Potter’s Song” uses those big Destruction By Definition-styled ska hooks and big power chord mash-ups for a powerful effect as the band calls for action, both politically and personally. It’s part of the changing tune that moves from frustration at the world to accepting one’s place and finding some positive while in the muck. Fittingly, it culminates in “Anarchist Wedding” and “Cheers To Ya,” songs that admit you can still toast the good times while acknowledging the bad.

I was hesitant to listen to this record. I was a big fan back in the day, then I kind of fell off at the self-titled record. Time doesn’t stand still and I wasn’t looking for a time capsule record.

You never know what to expect after a hiatus/reunion, but Revolution Spring has all the band’s strengths: it blends third wave ska with ‘90s skatepunk seamlessly but without over-the-top horns or that cut-and-paste chunky hybrid-taste that so much of the era possessed. In early press, the band professed that this record wasn’t about reliving the old days, but in revisiting the past from a new perspective. It seems they’ve accomplished that goal. This isn’t a favorite record of the year or anything, but I’m pleasantly surprised at how it brings me back in time, while still feeling like something new.

7.0 / 10Loren
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7.0 / 10

7.0 / 10

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