Battle Hymns

The Suicide Machines

Hollywood Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Now how’s this for interesting: to follow up the successful and Earth-shattering Destruction By Definition, the Suicide Machines decided to go in the absolute opposite direction, recording 22 songs in just over 30 minutes. At the time of the album’s release, most mainstream critics panned it, but audiences picked up on the disc and it became one of the band’s most admired records. Songs like “DDT,” “Sides,” and “High Society” have become anthems to crank at maximum volume to annoy every living soul around.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Other tracks like “Black & White World” and “Step One” are standouts of the disc. The real highlight is the fact that the band turned up the volume, went full-on hardcore punk, and released it all on a Disney owned label! How ultimately punk can you get?

There are some songs (like “Someone,” “Confused,” the really poppy “Give,” and “Hope”) that haven’t really stood the test of time, but punk rock fans will still love this record more than the band’s self-titled 2000 follow-up.

Between drummer Derek Grant (who left just before touring), bassist Royce Nunley, and guitarist/vocalist Dan Lukacinsky, the musicianship on this disc is out of this world. Plainly stated, the band is one of the best of the latter-era punk groups in terms of music and energy. Vocalist Jay Navarro is one of the best voices of ‘90s punk, and songs like “Numbers” and “Pins And Needles” are great examples of his intensity and his attitude, which carries throughout the disc.

Unfortunately, the second half of the disc isn’t as strong as the first, which drags the proceedings down a notch. While ultimately this album isn’t as strong all-around as their debut, all in all it is still a pretty damn good record – and bravo to Hollywood Records for stepping up and releasing it as is!

Rating: B

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