The Suicide Machines
On some songs, Battle Hymns is more abrasive and straight-ahead hardcore punk oriented than Destruction By Definition, but on others it stinks of slick over-production (“Give” is a perfect example). Sometimes in the quest for perfect recording, the energy and fury get sacrificed, and I think that’s what has happened here. The teeth are still there, but sometimes they seem sanded down, less sharp somehow. It’s strange, though — on some tracks the production makes me cringe, but on others I don’t notice so much. I suppose it depends on the strength of the song…?
Anyhow, they’re still playing speedy no-horns punk-ska with their strength lying more on their punk rock traits this time around — gritty, speedy and anthemic. The ska parts work sometimes, and sometimes just don’t, to the extent of soliciting groans. Some of this just sounds generic and forced, even some of the punk rock parts.
I’ve obviously got mixed feelings about this, while I was/am totally into Destruction By Definition. This has enough good points to say you should pick this up if you liked their past stuff, but enough iffy moments to encourage you to brush up on how to use the program features on your CD player.