City Slang: “Steal This Record” revisited



Steal This Record gets a bad rap amongst Suicide Machines fans. Apparently, hardcore (no pun intended) followers believe that, by this point in the band’s career (2001), the Machines had been polluted by Vans Warped Tours, and record label pressure, abandoning the original hardcore punk / ska sound in favor of something more pop-punk.

All of which may be true. Frontman Jay Navarro, now with Hellmouth among others, admits now that he hated that whole mainstream pop-punk scene and it was that which caused the breakup of the Machines.

I don’t care.

Steal This Record is a raucous, riotous, wonderful piece of work. The songs are fun, the old school energy is still there and, musically, the band is on top of its game. I even love the much-maligned cover of REM’s “It’s the End of the World as we Know it”.

That isn’t the best song on here though. That honor falls to the anthemic, hard-hitting “Honor Among Thieves”. The opening “The Killing Blow” and the following title track are awesome, and to be honest, the album never dips.

The Suicide Machines definitely got poppy on this album, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that they fell down to Blink 182 depths. They were sitting comfortably alongside Pennywise and Bad Religion here, but they were still leagues above Good Charlotte and Bowling for Soup.

So for those that dismissed it ten years ago, listen to it again with a freshly open mind. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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