-- Craig D. Lindsey

The Suicide Machines
Destruction by Definition
Hollywood Records

Lately, young bands coast to coast have taken to retooling ska's island backbeats to fit hard-core's pounding pace. But what makes the Suicide Machines stand apart from the pack is its ability to make it sound as if punk and ska were always two halves of the same whole. So while this young Detroit four-piece is hardly up to anything new, its music still feels fresh, organic -- almost effortless. Throughout Destruction by Definition, the Machines's buzzing guitars reel off relentless flurries of three-chord punk-rock riffs at full clip, only to switch effortlessly to ska's shuffling rhythms before returning to punk again without missing a beat or a seething punch line. And underneath it all runs the Machines's secret weapon: perfect pop hooks, and lots of them. (*** 1/2)

-- Brendan Doherty
The Suicide Machines performs Tuesday at Fitzgerald's.

CDs are rated on a one to five star scale.

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