The Suicide Machines are pissed off, like a lot of Americans. But if you haven’t heard of them, don’t dismiss them as yet another new band of upstart, suburban punk rockers who think they have something to say about the state of world affairs and, in particular, the current White House administration. They actually do have something to say. And they’re not a new band, either, having been together 15 years.
Detroit-based, the Machines are what you’d expect to happen if punk, hardcore, and ska atoms were scientifically bound into a new super-molecule called “fuck ’em all.” Their songs are angry, loud, and fast. So fast, in fact, most are over in less time than it takes to microwave a frozen burrito. Their years together have also taken their toll, forcing them to confront the realities of the world around them. Ask them and they’ll tell you punk has always depended on intercourse between politics and protest. Still, that doesn’t mean they did anything about it.
But then along came Bush Jr.
NO USE FOR A NAME
I AM THE AVALANCHE,
VERSUS THE WORLD
Sat, Feb 18
$12 (advance); $14 (day of show)
2410 N. St. Mary’s
Green Day certainly led the charge with American Idiot, motivating kids around the world to punch their fists in the air, denounce Bush (more), and, of course, wear black eyeliner. Nevertheless, there’s something almost un-punk about selling a bajillion albums and playing stadiums with Queen-like gravitas. Plus, there’s that Grammy Billy Joe and company accepted that gets stuck in the Machines’ collective craws. For them, selling a bajillion albums is one thing, but showing up for, in guitarist Dan Lukacinsky’s words, “the most fucking conformist industry award you can accept” is a whole other ball of wax. So the Machines decided to do something themselves.
Infuriated by the 2004 presidential election results, they hit the studio for their own rebellion by recording War Profiteering Is Killing Us All, a furious manifesto against capitalist greed, voter indifference, and Dubya. Oh yeah, they even cry out for a revolution by any means necessary on the title track. After giving it a listen and then hearing the Machines tell you they don’t think Green Day went far enough, you really have to wonder if maybe they’re right. •
By Cole Haddon