The Suicide Machines - War Profiteering Is Killing Us All (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Suicide Machines

War Profiteering Is Killing Us All (2005)


I do not drink coffee; the vile odor and bitter taste drives my senses crazy. So unlike the majority of the world, I am left without that early morning pick-me-up. A bowl of cereal mixed with fruit is a healthy option, and on those days when my alarm fails to sound off, a Red Bull is a common option for a quick start. However, the ultimate pick-me-up-to get me started at work after a long evening kissing the bottle is a record that's loud enough to jump-start my awareness, while maintaining a level of energy only found in a catchy singalong chorus. On War Profiteering Is Killing Us All, the Suicide Machines bring all of the added benefits of caffeine and a wholesome breakfast as well as a heavy dose of current events from the morning paper.

Detroit's Suicide Machines are known for pioneering fierce punk rock with infectious ska chords on their debut Destruction By Definition, which saw their name begin to fade from respected status into the used bins thanks to a few unpleasant records. Hope was restored to fans when after finding a new label, as well as a few new members, the band relaunched their career with one of the greatest comeback records, A Match & Some Gasoline. The album was an instant classic amongst the group's discography by mixing the charm of DBD and ferocity of Battle Hymns along with a rejuvenated political rush. In 2005, the Suicide Machines have raised the bar for themselves and the entire punk/ska genre once more. The opening vocal chord strainer "War Profiteering Is Killing Us All" instills a seed immediately that they were out to write their heaviest and most politically-charged record to date, easily making Battle Hymns feel like the radio-friendly self-titled disc. Unlike most modern acts who are ashamed of their ska ancestry, the Suicide Machines praise ‘em with upstrokes a-blazin' on "Capitalist Suicide" and continue the excitement on the immediate crowd-pleaser "Junk."

A quick glance at the cover for War Profiteering Is Killing Us All will not fool anyone on the enclosed content. The Suicide Machines' songs about shoes and girls have been traded in on lyrical content about voting ("17% 18 To 25"), standing up against dishonesty ("The Red Flag"), and pollution on one of the hardest hitting mixtures between hardcore and ska the group has ever crafted with "Nuclear Generators." What is most impressive is that the political tone to the songs never feels too forced upon the listener; sure, Jay's voice is stronger than ever as he wails through the stereo, but it never feels preachy or run of the mill, which is addressed on "Rebellion Is On The Clearance Rack (And I Think I Like It)".

I had to scrape hard to find faults with the Suicide Machines' sixth studio album and I still cannot come up with a vital excuse not to purchase War Profiteering Is Killing Us All. At 13 songs and 30 minutes, it is a bit brief; the majority of the tracks clock in at less than two minutes. Also, upon initial play the songs might not initially become instilled in your memory; however, after a handful of listens the songs will feel as important as anything in their storied discography.